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Gialiano, the Top Seeds International pepper beats the spanish cold

Gialiano, the Top Seeds International pepper beats the spanish cold

Thanks to the plant’s specific low-temperature resistance, the bright red variety      delivers top yields and quality even this year.

Galiano, Top Seeds International’s pepper variety recommended for medium-late transplanting, has successfully resisted the record-breaking cold that hit Spain in early January. The low temperatures caused considerable headaches for growers, whose crops were under severe risk.

A problem that did not affect growers of Galiano, pepper with medium-sized blocky-shaped fruit and a bright red colour. This variety’s ability to overcome the cold conditions derives from several different characteristics: first and foremost, its strong root system, its medium internode and the plant’s vigour allows to extend its production cycle. What’s more, the easy-setting flowers also showed excellent resistance to even the challenging temperatures. Last but not least, the good cracking resistance ensures crack-free fruit of impeccable quality.

Angel Pelegrina Sanchez, Country Manager Top Seeds Iberica

“Due to the freezing temperatures,” Ángel Pelegrina, Top Seeds Ibérica Country Manager, explained, “many growers found their production cycles ended earlier than expected. However, Galiano kept cropping without a break in spite of the severe weather conditions, without decrease in fruit quality, proving its worth as one of the varieties with fewest complaints in the destination markets and countries.” In fact, Galiano is particularly ideal for export thanks to its excellent shelf life.

“What’s more, the various cooperatives’ quality control rankings show very high success rates,” Mr. Pelegrina concluded, “making this variety a benchmark for medium-cycle pepper growers in the province of Almería”.

In addition, this variety, for mid-July to early August transplanting, has impressive cropping flexibility, allowing the number of pickings to be optimised to save labour.

Peppers, the complete Top Seeds International range

Galiano is just one representative of the Top Seeds International pepper portfolio, which comprises more Blocky pepper varieties such as Top Arrod, which is the same colour, features slightly flattened globe-shaped fruit, high yields and good flesh thickness. and Top Arnon, for medium-early transplanting. Top Rommem, on the other hand, is an attractive yellow colour: ideal for late transplanting, this variety has L-XL sized fruit with 4 clearly defined lobes. Ruiseñor, another yellow variety, offers high yields and is suitable for late growing.  

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Syngenta peppers, towards a sustainable horizon

Syngenta peppers, towards a sustainable horizon


Sustainability is one of the main trends in the World, as well as Organic consumption.

Syngenta and Zeraim have a clear view on this within our The Good Growth Plan as well as the work that we are developing in R&D in all crops. With all this Pepper has without any doubt a relevant position. This growth is the consequence of the demand increase amongst European consumers, who are becoming more and more concerned about their health, the environment, the food they are eating and about who, where and in which conditions this food is produced. Additionally there is strong concern on which are the consequences that this food consumption and therefore its production has in the environment. In this regard, it is important that not only producers and exporters have the right knowledge of the varieties available to cover their agronomical and growing needs, it is also important that the final consumers and supermarkets, which are finally selling the products, know which are the possibilities that are available to cover a consumption trend which is already the present and future of the market.


Focused in offering solutions to the consumers, supermarkets, exporters and growers, we, at Syngenta & Zeraim, have developed the largest and broadest offer of pepper varieties with a higher amount and more efficient resistances which make them especially suitable to cover the market trends. Thanks to our constant focus on innovation, we have managed to develop an offer of varieties that, additionally to the already standard resistances in the pepper market (TSWV and Tm 0:3) are having also the most efficient intermediate resistances in the field for nematodes (Meloydogine arenaria & incognita) and powdery mildew (Leveillula taurica), to offer sustainability for whole the value chain. As a result of this innovation, we already have a catalog with 16 “extra resistant” commercial varieties of peppers, some of which are already reference varieties in the main producing regions of Spain (Almería and Murcia), including 4 new varieties releases for 2019.



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Promising start to IPM programme in Dominican Republic peppers

Promising start to IPM programme in Dominican Republic peppers

A trial to introduce a full IPM programme to a sweet pepper crop in the Caribbean is showing promising results, reports Luis Espinoza, Biobest Manager for Latin American countries.

“Sweet peppers are an important crop for the Dominican Republic (DR),” he explains.  “As well as being a key ingredient of Caribbean cooking, the peppers are a valuable export crop to the US.

“Grown in plastic greenhouses and net houses, thrips are a major pest challenge – particularly as they act as vectors for plant viruses, such as Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. While the thrips adults lay their eggs under the leaf surface, the pest pupae and larvae tend to hide inside flowers making them difficult to target with synthetic chemical sprays.”

Growers in the DR have traditionally resorted to broad spectrum chemical pesticides to control thrips. However, pesticide resistance is building in the pest population making products less effective. Although crop protection regulations are not as strict as in North America, to access this important export market growers have to adhere to US regulatory standards. Growers are therefore coming under growing pressure to find an alternative solution.

To explore the potential of a fully integrated pest management strategy, Biobest’s local distributor – Nonno’s Bio Shop – recently set up a 1-hectare trial, in a newly planted pepper crop in the San Jose de Ocoa province. 

“The crop was planted in mid-January and three weeks later the IPM programme began,” says Luis. “The grower was advised to hang yellow and blue sticky traps above the crop to monitor the population of thrips, and other flying pests such as whitefly and aphid.

 “Following crop scouting, Phytoseiulus-System was released into red spider mite hot spots. Swirskii-System was introduced to control broad mite hot spots as well as thrips, with the predatory quickly building up feeding on the pest larvae. To strengthen the strategy, Orius-System was also introduced to control the last larval stage as well as the adults.

“While some growers in the DR already have experience of using Orius-System, this is the first time to our knowledge that a full IPM programme has been successfully implemented.  Although still very much early days, initial observations are looking promising and this grower is keen to roll the strategy out further in his pepper crops.” 

For more information, please contact Lise Verachtert (

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Tomato and pepper, 7 proposals from Arrigoni to increase productivity

Protection of organic crops, Arrigoni screens pass the tests on "Baby Leaf"

Depending on the needs, the company presents innovative solutions ranging from anti-insect screens to mulching fabrics and nettings to retain pollinators.

Tomato and sweet pepper are among the most important vegetable crops in the world, with production amounts constantly growing. Specifically, according to FAO data, in 2017, 182.301 million tons of tomatoes were grown all over the world, reaching a new record. In fact, production has increased by 35.76% in the last 10 years. On a global level, according to FAO data, the production of peppers is also positive and, to date, the cultivated area is close to 530,000 hectares, for a production of about 550,000 tons. Whether open field cultivations or in greenhouses, producers around the world are constantly looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of production, seeking for meeting the growing needs of the market and consumers.

Arrigoni, leading international player in the technical textile sector for agriculture, provides producers of tomatoes and peppers with 7 different solutions with aim to respond on all problems in production of these crops.

Biorete Air Plus® is a range of safe and eco-friendly anti-insect screens against insects, able to reduce pest access to plants and transmission of viral diseases. Available in differently hole size, they provide maximum protection against even smallest insects, such as aphids and thrips (Thripidae). Furthermore, the innovative ARLENE HT® monofilament with low thickness and high tenacity ensures high resistance and greater ventilation.

Prisma® is a range of white shading screens with special Light Diffusion additive that improves light conditions in protected aria, prevent sun burns and stimulate photosynthesis. Field tests confirmed that light spreads more uniformly around the plants, even in the lower parts of the canopy. White color to keep temperature down due to reflection part of sun light. Lower temperatures positively affect plant development, fruit firmness and content of polyphenolic compounds.  More pleasant temperatures and working conditions were confirmed even by operators.

Agritela® is then a polypropylene mulching fabric, stabilized against ultraviolet rays, breathable with high mechanical resistance (it also withstands the passage of small tractors). Actually, it is the answer for those who, having cultivated many times in the same land or environment and for different seasons, find problems of “tired soil”. Agritela® guarantees soil transpiration, weed control and easy cleaning of production surfaces for pots or bags with substrates.

Arricover® is a strong, transparent and breathable fabric that combines high quality, light weight, long life and effective protection against adverse environmental conditions. It allows applications on supports and is easy to lift and reposition when necessary (for summer storms, hail, dew and pollination). The agronomic results obtained on the peppers and tomato crops are very interesting: better plant growth after transplanting, protection against rain and hail, quick drying thanks to the typical transpiration of knitted fabrics and less fungal diseases.

Impollirete® retains pollinating insects inside the greenhouse. The process of pollination of tomatoes and peppers, in fact, usually takes place using insects such as bumblebees. To optimize their activity, Impollirete® keeps pollinators inside, simply closing the roof and the side openings of the greenhouses.

Iride Base® is a light mesh, made from high density polyethylene knitted monofilament, suitable for open field installations on supports and for installation on tunnels. It protects peppers and tomatoes from hail. In addition, it can protection against strong insolation thanks to the slight shading factor of 12%, support better plant growth, less damage from insects, stronger and healthier plants.

Rete Garofani & Solania® is a large mesh extruded net for plant support. Thanks to its robustness, applied on arches, it supports pepper plants and their fruits. In addition, the net improves plant development and distribution, prevents damages to the buds, facilitates harvesting operations and keeps plants stable in strong winds.

“Solanaceae – says Milena Poledica, agronomist and researcher of Arrigoni – belong to a family of plants highly sensitive to numerous diseases, parasites and pathogens transmitted by insects. Moreover, they are one of the most cultivated crops in the world too. A Company like ours, which is a global partner for agriculture professionals, has developed a range of solutions suitable for any type of environment and climate, to offer protection and guarantees to those who produce in a responsible and sustainable way, looking to the future”

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ECO-FORUM Syngenta- Zeraim

ECO-FORUM Syngenta- Zeraim

The challenges for pepper and organic production debated in Almería

The consistency of the Spanish and European pepper market, its challenges and the prospects for expansion over the coming years thanks to continuous research of new varieties of resistant seeds: this was the starting point of a professional day of great interest held in El Ejido, Almería, under the organisational umbrella of the firms Syngenta and Zeraim. At the ‘Eco-Forum’, numerous professionals came from the fields of production, marketing and research to share their knowledge and analyse the landscape of the sector. All of the presentations had a point in common: the promising and expansive current state and the short and medium term projection of the organic products market, which is already a consolidated trend on a global scale.

Spain, which has grown at a rate of 7% in the last year and had already exported over 700,000 tons in the previous three years, is still the largest European pepper seller and second in the world, only to Mexico, which sells 95% of its production to the United States. In 2016, 3.5 million tons of pepper were exported worldwide, confirming the great boom of this product since the turn of the century (in 2000, one million tons sold to foreign markets), as explained by the editor of Eurofresh Distribution, Pierre Escodo, who coordinated the debate.

In Spain, the geographical area of ​​the southeast (Almeria, Murcia and south of Alicante) produces almost all of the volumes for export of this vegetable, as outlined by the CEO of Coexphal Almeria, Juan Colomina. In 2018, 745,901 tons of pepper was exported from Spain – an increase of 181,000 tons in the last six years. The head of Proexport Region of Murcia, Fernando Gómez, stressed that almost all of that increase (161,000 tons) comes from Andalusia (mainly Almeria), which is also seeing strong growth in organic production despite not yet reaching the region of Murcía, a territory that already integrates biological control at 95% of its farms and that in 5 years expects 50% of its production of California pepper to be organic.

One of the most striking conclusions of the day was the confirmation that the Spanish pepper is already available for the European market 365 days a year. Speaking about the organic landscape, Gómez also stressed the need to sustain the growth in the extension of organic crops according to market demands, encouraging farmers who grow conventional products to switch to organic farming. It offers an undoubted added value, “only if they have an adequate business plan”. He also highlighted the need for a union between the producers of southeastern Spain and the ‘battle’ that they are proposing in Brussels so that the hydroponic crop can also be certified as organic.

The Eco-Forum of Syngenta and Zeraim devoted space to the certification of organic production and the different regulations in the countries inside and outside of the European market. Juan Manuel Sánchez, director of certification of the CAAE – Europe’s largest certifier by area – stressed the difficulty of competing with the organic producers of the United States or other countries which have much less demanding regulations. In the case of Spain, there are inequalities even within the different regions, giving the example of Andalusia, where there is a regime of very strict sanctions and regulatory requirements, which complicates the path for producers who decide to go green.

In spite of the exporting importance of the Spanish pepper, there is weak domestic consumption of this vegetable. Some varieties that are widely exported to other markets such as Germany or France are almost unknown by Spanish consumers. Despite the fact that pepper consumption grew in 2018, it is still below the values ​​of previous years.

The British market was another focus of the day, with the contribution of the expert consultant in the UK, José Miguel Flavián, who highlighted the peculiarities of the ‘British’ market, the third largest in Europe (after Germany and France) and the ninth globally. The UK market has seen significant growth in organic production and has demanding consumers.

In this regard, consultant David del Pino spoke of the values ​​related to health, well-being and the environment that currently drive the most important worldwide consumption trend, emphasising the ‘hygienic’ factors that every producer has to comply with scrupulously if they do not want to lose a significant market share or shatter their credibility with consumers. Del Pino calls this a “new religion” and estimates that it will continue to be a determining factor in markets in the near future, “whatever is sustainable or healthy”. And, in his opinion, “what is healthy is what the consumer identifies as healthy, whether it is or not”. At this point, he moved on to discuss the current trend for “the local” product, which in many markets like the US is as popular, or more so, among consumers than organics.

Flavián noted that the UK market has its own characteristics, such as the well-established online channel (number one in Europe), thanks to the great confidence brought by its good functioning, closely related to organics, which are showing very good results in online sales. Or the ‘convenience’ models of small stores, which are comparable in importance to large-scale distribution. He also highlighted the effect of market introspection that Brexit is causing, which has led to a decline in imports and leaves the sector in great uncertainty in relation to tariffs and other consequences that could result from the UK’s exit from the European Union. This is generating some distortion in the commercial relations of other countries with the British Isles.

Research represented another fundamental aspect of the Eco-Forum held in Almeria. Zyngenta-Zeraim is a global reference in this field thanks to the different lines it operates to generate seeds resistant to diseases that, until now, can only be fought externally with phytosanitary products and, in many cases, with poor results. The brand has an extensive catalogue of 16 pepper varieties resistant to Oidium and Nematodes, developed by its extensive breeding team, which includes the speakers José Antonio Chicón and Víctor Domínguez, and that has R & D stations spread all over the world (Spain, United States, Holland, India, Kenya, Thailand). The objective in the short and medium term is to generate seeds that can also resist phytohpthora, WF, thrips, botrytis, aphid or TSWV: P1. Without a doubt, there can be no better proof of the fact that organic farming is progressively eliminating products to fight diseases, thanks to the resistance that practically all seeds, pepper and other crops, will have in the not too distant future.


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Europe imports 19% less pepper from abroad than it did ten years ago. Intra-European imports have grown by 36%

Europe imports 19% less pepper from abroad than it did ten years ago. Intra-European imports have grown by 36%

European Union: Europe imports 19% less pepper from abroad than it did ten years ago. Intra-European imports have grown by 36% in the same period.

Spain: It is the largest producer and exporter in Europe, with more than 700,000 tons per year, and the second in the world.

Mexico: The largest exporters in the world. In 2017, it exceeded one million tons sold abroad (1,037,394). 29.6% of all the pepper exported in the world is Mexican.

United States: The country purchases 95% of the pepper that leaves Mexico and is the seventh producer worldwide. It is the largest importer in the world.

China: The Asian giant is the largest pepper producer in the world by far (44.5% of global total). Almost all the product is for internal consumption. In 2017, it produced more than 18 million tons.

Holland: Of the Europeans, it is second only behind Spain in terms of production and export. It is a world leader in performance, with 280 tons/ha., and the world’s third largest exporter.

Germany: The country leads imports in Europe and is second in the world. 61% is bought from Spain and 10% from outside the EU. Germany imports 20% more than it did in 2010.

Morocco: With 114,531 tons exported in 2017, it is the African country that sells the most peppers abroad, albeit not the largest producer.

United Kingdom: It is the third largest pepper importing country in the world. Almost all the pepper consumed is bought from abroad. It is also third in the world in terms of performance (242 tons/ha. in 2017).

India: In 2017, it surpassed China as the world leader in pepper production surface area, with 848,000 hectares.

Israel: Exports have plummeted in the last four years by almost 50%. In 2017, 60,787 tons were sold abroad.

Indonesia: It is a world power in surface area (3rd) and production (4th), but not in exports. In 2017, it dedicated 310,147 hectares to pepper.

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Peppers more popular in Poland

They rank third among vegetables grown in Poland, with 1,400 ha in covered area and a 90,000 ton crop.

After tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers come third in terms of area for growing vegetables under cover in Poland. The bell pepper harvest from open-field cultivation is much smaller than that grown under cover. In 2014, 23 ,000 tons were harvested, followed by 28,000 tons the next season and about 34,000 tons forecast for this season. Over 2009-2014, Poland’s bell pepper exports grew from 9,000 to 19 ,000 tons, most going to CIS countries. Agricultural greenhouse farms growing peppers are spread all over Poland, but the commodity production occurs mainly in the area of Mazovian, Greater Poland, Lesser Poland, Łódzand Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeships. About 90% of the peppers grown are red and the rest are yellow, orange or of another type, such as violet.

40,000 tons from the Przytyk province

Radom is presently the biggest area of pepper cultivation in Poland. One of the leading producers of pepper is the farm of Barbara and Grzegorz Małek, located in the Przytyk region. “Przytyk is the heart of the Polish pepper cultivation. The region‘s pepper crop totals about 40 ,000 tons a year, from around 2,000 farms and over 30,000 foil tunnels on a combined area of over 800 ha and 1,500 ha of open field cultivation.

“For example, in just one village in Przytyk, peppers are being grown by 220 farmers in a total of 3,000 tunnels for over 6,000 tons of this vegetable a year,” estimates Grzegorz Małek. Peppers are its main production in greenhouses, with 62 ha of covered crops. It is located in the biggest pepper area in Poland, in a central part of Mazowieckie district. Members of its producers group also grow yellow, green and white peppers. This region boasts favourable climatic conditions, having warmer weather and 44 less frost days than in neighbouring areas. Farmers from Przytyk have started to combine in bigger organisations that allow them to produce a great er volume of peppers with customised and standardised parameters and therefore to be able to sell their produce more profitably, Małek said. More than 20 pepper varieties are currently under cultivation, mainly mixed varieties originally from the Netherlands.

This article appeared in edition 146 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more from that edition online here.
Read more pepper news here.

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La Unión research & new designs

Alhóndiga La Unión was set up in 1993 to work with employees, suppliers and customers to achieve greater profitability for farmers, providing the consumer with produce that meets the highest food safety standards

Alhóndiga La Unión is a leading company in the Spanish and European sector.

This year, it is carrying out several research projects, such as Biovege and Decidrop, with which it intends to develop and improve the entire agricultural life cycle.

In addition, Alhóndiga La Unión has rolled out phase 2 of the watermelon production line, an investment that will ensure greater efficiency and speed. Around 65% of the firm’s produce is exported to European markets, with Germany, France and Poland the main destinations.

The main export items are: Cucumber, pepper and courgette. The company’s objectives are based on covering all the product varieties demanded by their clients and taking in the entire domestic production cycle.

Alhondiga La Unión is a major company in the European scope, specialising in trading fruit and vegetables, at all times ensuring quality and food safety in its produce. It is important to note that 90% of production is destined to large-scale retail distribution.

Alhóndiga La Unión is committed to food quality and safety as its core message, as director-general Jesus Barranco, explains: “The key to marketing success is the combination of quality vegetables and food safety.”

Moreover, Barranco said  that in terms of brand image they have now begun using new packaging designs, which will gradually be extended through time. Since 2006, the company is certified under the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard, as well as Global Gap, GRASP, Integrated Production, BRC and IFS.

Alhóndiga La Unión was set up in 1993 to work with employees, suppliers and customers to achieve greater profitability for farmers, providing the consumer with produce that meets the highest food safety standards. The product range includes cucumber, pepper, tomato, courgette, aubergine, beans, watermelon and melons.

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Global Green Team exports peppers to China

After years of preparations, the first Dutch peppers will be exported to China mid July, said Paul Schriel, sales manager at Global Green Team, a Dutch fruit and vegetable trading company that operates worldwide.

After years of preparations, the first Dutch peppers will be exported to China mid July, said Paul Schriel, sales manager at Global Green Team, a Dutch fruit and vegetable trading company that operates worldwide. “We are accessing a market with a huge potential where we can distinguish ourselves by guaranteeing healthy and safe products,” Schriel said.

The exports are the end result of the lengthy process of the development of a protocol with both the Dutch and Chinese authorities and joint inspections. Many of the precautions revolve around preventing the presence of unwanted flies and strict compliance to the protocol.

“The current exports are meant to optimise routing, registration and inspections and after evaluation will lead to the possibility of China opening to pepper exports in 2017.

“That could open up the way for a follow-up with for instance tomatoes,”Schriel said. It leads him to conclude that the opening of new markets in the Far East is a healthy development.

Global Green Team local production in North America

Besides the Far and Middle East, Global Green Team has a focus on North America, where it sells the majority of its tomatoes and peppers grown in the Netherlands and locally.

Food miles are an issue that Global Green Team addresses by setting up local production.

“If you can show that your products are produced locally, you have an advantage,“ Schriel said.

The transfer of knowledge and quality assurance play a role in that process.

”The Dutch law has a very sharp focus on quality and that is a good indicator of the product that Global Green Team offers. We are strict on the quality we want to deliver and our quality team monitors that. Also we provide guidance to our growers,” he said.

Schriel sees growing demand for organic fresh produce, especially in the US and Canada. He said organic production is intensifying and production yields improving. This is the outcome of an increasingly better understanding of organic production and selection of varieties, he said.

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Sweet green still top selling pepper in US


Retail sales of peppers in the United States grew 4.9% in value, to $1.3 billion, and 3.2% in volume, to 603.5 million pounds, year-over-year in the 52 weeks to September 26, 2015, Nielsen data shows.

The sweet green pepper was the biggest seller – accounting for 28.5% of the total spend in the category and nearly 40% of the volume sold – with total sales of $386.9 million (+1.2%) from 235 million pounds (+2.4%).

Next in volume came the sweet red pepper,  up 3.1% on the same period a year before to 118.7 million pounds, followed by the ‘other sweet’ category then hot jalapeno, sweet yellow and sweet orange peppers.

Among the top 10 varieties, the biggest growth YOY was for hot dried peppers, sales of which rose 22.9% in volume to 2.4 million lb while the spend was up nearly 35% to $14.1 million. There was also double digit growth in either the volume, spend or both for hot chilli, hot poblano, sweet yellow and sweet orange peppers.

Though off a much smaller base, sales of the hot ancho pepper shot up 74% in volume (to 25,588 lb) and 140.1% in value (to $205,569) and ‘other hot’ peppers climbed 8.6% in volume (to 116,971 lb) and 16.9% in value (to $8 million).

While sales of the hot habanero pepper fell 10.3% in volume, to 4.8 million lb, they gained 13.1% in value, for a total of $8.6 million. Similarly, sales of the hot Anaheim pepper slid 4.8% to 5.4 million but for a total spend up 4% to $8.6 million.

Down in both value and volume were the hot mixed, hot Scotch bonnet, hot cubanelle, hot habanero, sweet white and sweet purple peppers.


source: Nielsen