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Huelva diversifies and turns to sustainability

Sustainability is the watchword for Spanish farmers and traders, concerned about water foot - print and committed to deliver good qua - lity berries.

Huelva province, the biggest producer of fresh berries in Europe, is consolidating the crop diversification initiated last year and thereby ensuring the presence of Huelva berries across European markets for almost nine months a year.

The province of Huelva planted 9,658 ha of berries this season, reducing the strawberry area by 9% compared to 2014/2015, but still compensated by an increase of 25% in the rest of the berries, announced Freshuelva.

The growth in the planted area of raspberries, blue berries and blackberries is the result of Huelva’s commitment to diversifying its production, a movement that started strongly last season with farmers seeking new alternatives to meet consumer trends in Europe.

The strawberry plantation area is now estimated at 5,860 hectares (6,400 ha last season, -8.7%), while raspberries account for 1,815 hectares (1,560 ha last year, +16%), blackberries for 130 hectares (90 ha last season, +44%) and blueberries for 1953 hectares (1,470 ha last season, +33%), although a significant number of the blueberry orchards are young and will not produce at their full potential.

The ‘new’ berries are mainly being planted along the western Coast of Huelva, where surface water is available for irrigation, stressed Freshuelva.


This article appeared on page 95 of edition 141, Jan/Feb 2016, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here.

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Early start to Huelva’s strawberry season


High temperatures in the province of Huelva over November and December have accelerated the ripening of strawberries, leading to an early start to the 2015/16 campaign and the first strawberries hitting the market over Christmas, according to the Freshuelva, the association representing Huelva’s strawberry growers and exporters.

Freshuelva president Alberto Garrocho said the weather in the province during November was like that typical of March, while that in December was akin to February- As a result, picking started nearly a month earlier than usual.

Garrocho said the weather has favoured fruit of optimum quality and taste and this, combined with the fact the strawberries have arrived a month earlier on the market, at a time of scarce supply, making Huelva’s strawberries much more competitive.

Huelva’s strawberry sector has 5,860 ha planted for the 2015/16 season, down 8.73% on the previous season. However, the planted area for other berries, such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, has increased 25%, with 1,815, 130 and 1,953 ha respectively.

source: Fepex

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Huelva’s strawberry sales up 21%

Spain’s strawberry capital, Huelva, has bounced back from last year’s poor results with a nearly 21% boost in turnover – to €355 million – in its latest season.

Spain’s strawberry capital, Huelva, has bounced back from last year’s poor results with a nearly 21% boost in turnover – to €355 million – in its latest season.

Freshuelva, the association of producers and exporters of strawberries from Huelva, says the sector has ended the 2014/15 season with strawberry production up 3% on last season, to 288,660 tons, even though the land base decreased 9%.

Importantly, after one of its worst seasons in recent times in 2013/14, sales – totalling €355 million – were back to levels similar to those of 2012/13. This recovery was thanks to a 22% increase on last season in the average price, according to figures reported by member companies.

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In a press release, Freshuelva said the price was helped by the fact that fruit quality in the first quarter of the year was excellent, thanks to favourable weather. However, and as has often occurred in previous years, at the end of March there was a peak in production which saw a considerable drop in prices.

About 78.5% of this year’s strawberry harvest was sold for fresh consumption and the rest used for processing. Freshuelva said the quality of the strawberries meant those from Huelva still found a market in Europe in May despite then competing with local production in countries such as France, Italy, the UK, Germany and Belgium.

Because of the intense heat in recent days, which reduces fruit quality and consistency, the harvest of fresh strawberries has come to a close.

The raspberry season has also concluded, with production up 20% on the previous season to 14,480 tons. Despite repeating last season’s 5% fall in the average price, Huelva’s raspberry sales rose again, this time by 15.7%, to €90.3 million.

In the first quarter of the season, 95% of the raspberries picked were exported, which was up significantly on the previous season. Prices dropped notably in May and early June as local production came on in the two main markets where Huelva’s raspberries are consumed – the UK and Germany.

The blueberry and blackberry harvests, which started in mid-March, continue, though at a slower pace.

source: Freshuelva

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Infographic Highlights Benefits of Berries

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Which berry can help reduce cholesterol and which one is rich in folic acid? What are the seasons for the different berries and what are their calorie counts?

The answers to these questions and many other interesting details about berries are in a new shareable infographic from Huelva Inteligente.

Based in Huelva, the origin of 95% of Spain’s berry exports, the digital marketing experts have provided an easy-to-digest summary of the kind of information shared recently at the Fresh&Life berry symposium in Madrid.