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SANDI seduces European consumers

SANDI seduces European consumers
Press Release

Last year, the watermelon, with 10,600 hectares (and a production of 608,000 tons), ranked second in Almeria, just behind pepper and above tomato

South-eastern Spain is the only producing area in Europe that since the middle of April is able to put watermelons of the highest quality and extraordinary flavour on the market. This was made clear during the presentation of the SANDI “The first European watermelon” promotion and information campaign, launched by COEXPHAL and HORTIESPAÑA, in collaboration with the Almería Provincial Council and its “Sabores de Almería” brand.

The president of COEXPHAL, Juan Antonio González Real, wanted to “publicly thank all the marketers associated with COEXPHAL who are collaborating by contributing their watermelons within the framework of this campaign, which, as you know, began last year, in April, in full lockdown. There was no chance to present our SANDI last year, so I want to invite all Spanish and European consumers to share the sweetness, quality and great flavour of this fruit that has become the first flavour of the summer”.

HORTIESPAÑA’s president Francisco Góngora noted that this campaign is fundamentally based on direct actions and on social networks. “The success of this project is corroborated by the numbers offered by the audience – last year, more than 200,000 people were impacted by SANDI through social networks. For 2021, falling in love with Sandi is the theme of humorous memes on social networks, to once again promote the consumption of the rich watermelon grown in the solar greenhouses of Almería and Granada. Furthermore, as a novelty, the campaign has a website where watermelon data, curiosities and recipes with different chefs will soon be available,” Góngora said.

The president of the Almería Provincial Council, Javier A. García, was satisfied to be able to collaborate in an initiative that values ​​the horticultural production of the province of Almería: “We have to highlight a watermelon that is made in solar greenhouses, in environmentally friendly facilities, which are a sink for Co2 emissions. The first European watermelon is possible thanks to the work of thousands of people who grow and produce health for all of Europe,” he said.

García added: “We are proud that 70% of the exported watermelons are from Almería and that our province is the cradle of the Mediterranean diet. The first European watermelon is very good because it makes us feel proud of our land and of what the people of Almeria do.”

Watermelon, second place in the Almeria garden

The manager of COEXPHAL, Luis Miguel Fernández, presented forecasts for this campaign regarding melon and watermelon. “For the entire 2021 cycle, the estimates compiled for COEXPHAL companies show an increase in watermelon production of around 3%, with a clear trend towards black seedless (up 4%). The mini sizes have also shown increases of around 7%. Organic production is growing faster than conventional, with 6% growth expected.”

Fernández also highlighted “the increase in the watermelon area in recent seasons, which has doubled in just 10 years. Last year, watermelon, with 10,600 hectares (and a production of 608,000 tons), ranked second in Almeria, just behind pepper and above tomato.”

As for melon, “the forecasts show a 3% drop in production. The only types that are increasing are Cantaloupe and Piel de Sapo. For the Galia and Yellow melons, although they are still the ones that occupy the largest proportion of surface area, a fall in the harvest is expected. Organic production is showing a worse trend than conventional: forecasts indicate a drop of close to 10%. In recent seasons, the surface area and production has stabilised at around 2,800 hectares and 122,000 tons. However, it will be necessary to closely follow this cycle to know whether the forecasts are finally realised. It should be remembered that 10 years ago, the area exceeded 4,000 hectares,” said the manager of COEXPHAL.


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Sandi returns this spring as “the first taste of summer”

Sandi returns this spring as "the first taste of summer"
Press Release

COEXPHAL and HORTIESPAÑA resume their campaign to promote the watermelon of southern Spain. Harvesting is underway of the first European watermelon grown in greenhouses in the southeast of Spain, destined for markets in Spain and Europe. To publicise the fruit’s healthy properties and excellent quality, COEXPHAL and HORTIESPAÑA are starting the promotion campaign, mainly through digital media, under the slogan “The first European watermelon”, to disseminate its health and organoleptic qualities.

New this year is a specially designed web page ( offering information on the fruit’s nutritional qualities and the main production and marketing figures, together with endorsements by “Ambassadors”, people from politics, culture or sports and renowned chefs, who will also prepare some recipes with the unique fruit.

Sandi is the character who gives visibility and prominence to the watermelon in all communications and posts on social networks, and will this year feature the slogan “The Taste of Summer” and the hashtag # LaPrimeraSandíaEuropa

Once again, collaboration has come from “Sabores de Almería” from the Almería Provincial government. The president of the institution, Javier A. García, the president of Hortiespaña, Francisco Góngora, and the manager of COEXPHAL, Luis Miguel Fernández, have sent watermelons as gifts to people from Almeria’s and Spain’s cultural and social scene to taste the watermelons from the southern greenhouses and get to know the campaign at first-hand.

During the past campaign, more than 100 million watermelons from Almería and Granada reached European consumers and 597,010 tons of watermelons were produced under greenhouses in southern Spain, which represents half of Spanish production. Spain is the world’s leading watermelon exporter, with 911,366 tons.

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Taramay® is here! The “always sweet” watermelon from La Unión Corp

® is here! The “always sweet” watermelon from La Unión Corp
Press Release

Fresh, fun and always sweet: this is Taramay®, the premium fruit brand of La Unión Corp. Aimed at consumers seeking maximum flavour and wishing to experience the finest of life, Taramay® encompasses a wide assortment of tropical and Mediterranean fruits, all of high quality, particularly watermelon.

“We have managed to guarantee the best flavour in every fruit thanks to our clear differential advantage: our exclusive N.I.R.S. (near infrared spectrosconomy). This non-invasive technique allows us to determine the degree of sugar in each fruit, thus guaranteeing maximum sweetness in every one of our watermelons,” said Jesús Barranco, CEO of La Unión Corp.

Under the slogan “Always sweet”, this competitive advantage is evident in a campaign that will feature Ketty Fresneda (Masterchef finalist, influencer, nutritionist and TV chef) and be transmitted via different channels: digital advertising, point of sale promotion, social networks and special actions.

With 57,000 tons of watermelon marketed last season and five product varieties, the company intends to consolidate its leadership in 2021 not only in terms of volume, but also in added value for the final consumer.


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Myanmar sends first watermelon shipment to Middle East

Myanmar sends first watermelon shipment to Middle East © Réussir Fruits et Légumes

© Réussir Fruits et Légumes


Myanmar has started exporting watermelons to the Middle East, with the first shipment heading for the UAE last week. Other destinations are to be added, as the country seeks to diversify its exports markets, reports the Myanmar Times.

U Naing Win, chair of the Myanmar Melon Producers and Exporters Association, said, “We have been exporting watermelons for the past 30 years and this is the first time we are engaging with the UAE. We will also be exporting to Qatar as well as Singapore soon.”

The move is intended to reduce dependence on the Chinese market. “If we are able to export regularly to Dubai, Qatar and Singapore, we won’t face such problems. The price will be more stable as these countries make orders by the container whereas watermelons are delivered to China on trucks, which are subject to customs checks and driver availability,” said Win.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, watermelon supplies have fallen in Myanmar after China shut down its borders. Watermelons can grow throughout the year in Myanmar.

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Don Camillo increases size of seedless Camilla watermelon

Don Camillo increases size of seedless Camilla watermelon

Don Camillo guarantees a 10-month melon season and has increased the size of its seedless watermelons. “This year, our melon season started in the last week of February with our Honduras production and will continue until the end of November. Our production includes a range of smooth melon varieties for which we have exclusive rights. We’ve had positive consumer feedback. In addition, we will increase from 4 kg to 8 kg the size of Camilla, our seedless watermelon of the Tiger type. This is to meet consumer demand for medium-sized fruits,” said the firm’s president, Ettore Cagna. In addition to the PGI Melon Mantovano and seedless watermelon Camilla, Don Camillo’s range also includes Navel clementines and oranges from Puglia and the exclusive Lelys melon, which guarantees excellent market performance. Production is also exported to short-distance markets in Europe and the UAE. 

Located in Brescello (Reggio Emilia), Agricola Don Camillo is an Italian melon and watermelon specialist. The producers organisation represents a combined 1,000 hectares of cultivated area throughout Italy, with a capacity to market over 50,000 tons of melons, mini watermelons, pumpkins and courgettes every year.

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China internet celebrity watermelon



With the rapid development of E-commerce in China, consumers can buy everything online and have it delivered through developed express network. It’s commonly seen fresh products are purchased online, especially during COVID-19 outbreak.

To become a best seller online, watermelon fruit must have good flesh quality, great flavor and sweet taste, and must have excellent storage and transportation ability to fit supply chain conditions.

Syngenta and his partners growers have foreseen the consumer trends and launched to the market WT1202 variety – 蜜童sweet baby -fulfilling online business requirements and consumer expectations. High flesh density and rind thickness are allowing supply chain efficiency.

The single fruit weight is about 2kg, suitable for family consumption: easy to store and cut; seedless is more convenient and preferred by children. High sugar content (Brix more than 13%), attractive red flesh color, crispy taste.

Together with retailer and fruit collectors, our watermelon experts went from farms to farms, to give crop advice and guidelines to growers for producing the best quality watermelon in the right season and right locations all over China.

蜜童sweet baby (WT1202 )-is now available year round and always in its best quality no matter where and when you find it. By integrating the whole fruit industrial chain, we help to create added value for growers, also bring benefits to fruit collectors, retailers, and more important consumers.

 Inadvertently, 蜜童sweet baby (WT1202 )- became the “Chinese online celebrity watermelon”. For more information visit:

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Goliath; the success of the new watermelon box with 1 million units sold

Goliath; the success of the new watermelon box with 1 million units sold

                                                                                                                                                                                              Press release

The watermelon is a fruit with very specific characteristics that requires packaging designed to absorb any potential damage caused by its weight. The packaging must be stackable, and suitable for both long-distance transport and display at the point of sale. Smurfit Kappa has managed to combine these features in its latest revolutionary product, Goliath, a corrugated cardboard packaging solution for the fruit and vegetable sector. One million units have already been manufactured with 100% satisfaction from the customers who have tried them (zero claims have been filed for collapsed boxes). In this interview, Enrique Guillén, Regional Manager of Smurfit Kappa Alicante and Almeria, two plants 100% dedicated to the design and manufacture of packaging solutions for the agricultural industry, talks to us about this new box and the company’s commitment to innovation in this market.

How did Goliath come about?

Innovation is one of our main pillars. So when our customers in the sector asked us for an efficient solution, developed specifically to transport and store watermelons,  meeting a set of criteria that would ensure the products ‘arrival at the point of sale in perfect condition, our designers got to work to create an innovative package that would solve the producers’ dilemma at its source. That was the beginning of Goliath, a product developed at our Agri Experience Centre in Alicante, Europe’s unique centre devoted 100% to agricultural research, development and innovation, where efficient (and) sustainable designs are conceived.

What are its main features?

Thanks to its conical shape, Goliath is able to absorb any impact caused by the weight of the fruit. Its internal anchors allow for perfect stacking, thus improving loading efficiency; it optimises ventilation and preservation of the fruit; it is recyclable, renewable, and biodegradable to minimise the ecological footprint of our customers; and it strengthens the customer’s brand image by supporting any type of printing. Originally designed for watermelons, it is now being used successfully to package other fruit, such as melons, citrus fruit, and even bananas.

How has Goliath evolved?

Smurfit Kappa’s designers developed a new version of this solution, the so-called Goliath 2.0, which—thanks to its redesigned anchors—allows Goliath to be stacked according to different market formats, a development much appreciated by retailers, while also providing better ventilation. The advantages of this latest solution are being presented to new and prospective customers through webinars led by the Agri Experience Centre (

Goliath is also suitable for both long-distance transport and display at the point of sale.

That’s right. Thanks to its cone-shaped design that can support 20 kg. of product, Goliath is the ideal solution for exporting fruit, since—in addition to all the aforementioned advantages—it streamlines distribution, minimises unoccupied warehouse space, eliminates collapsed box claims, and reduces fall incidents to virtually zero, a very important point considering the unique characteristics of the watermelon. It also reinforces food safety and hygiene because cardboard transmits less bacterial contamination than other non-biodegradable material. Moreover, all of our agricultural plants in the Iberian Peninsula are certified with the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.

Goliath’s innovative design ensures fruit arrives at its final destination in perfect condition, an aspect much appreciated by our agricultural customers, especially brand owners who use packaging to reinforce their designation of origin, brand, and values by printing images, logos, and text on the boxes, a distinctive element that drives consumption.

About Smurfit Kappa

Smurfit Kappa, a company that trades on the FTSE 100, is one of the leading suppliers of paper packaging solutions in the world, with roughly 46,000 employees at approximately 350 production centres in 35 countries and revenues of EUR 9 billion in 2019. We are present in 23 European countries and 12 countries across the Americas. We are the only large-scale pan-regional operator in Latin America.

Our proactive team consistently applies its experience and expertise, backed by our structure, to provide our clientele with new opportunities. We collaborate with forward-looking customers through the exchange of superior product knowledge, market expertise, and an understanding of packaging trends to ensure business success in their markets. We have a portfolio of unprecedented paper packaging solutions that is constantly updated with our market-leading innovations. This is reinforced by the benefits of our integration, with optimum paper design, logistics, prompt service, and packaging plants whose raw materials are supplied almost entirely by our own paper mills. Our products, which are 100% renewable, recyclable, and sustainably produced, help improve our customers’ environmental footprint.

Visit our microsite & web /

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Happy family – 1st Commercial seedless Watermelon hitting the Indian Market!

Happy family – 1st Commercial seedless Watermelon hitting the Indian Market!
Press release


The retail store concept is becoming popular in Indian cities. Organized and unorganized retailers are playing a big role in this process. Value chain partners are looking for premium fruits to increase the foot fall to their stores. Watermelon is nowadays one of the major products in all the F&V supermarkets.

Syngenta is introducing “HAPPY FAMILY” the 1st premium commercial seedless watermelon variety in Indian markets. Syngenta India Limited is the game changer in watermelon category in the last 10 years.

Innovating in the watermelon category, Syngenta has been supporting the market conversion from traditional watermelons of big size (8 to 10 kg) fruits to personal size (3 to 4 kg). Syngenta is enjoying the market leadership position in this segment thanks to a strong R&D along with wide range of portfolio globally.

To the consumers the biggest advantage is eating convenience which is a great experience along with excellent flavor and improved sweetness. To spread this message among large consumer, shopper base; we have started creating awareness activities by organizing tasting events at common gatherings such as offices, residential parks & at “F & V Stores” along with promotion on social media & several other platforms.

Together with all the supply chain stakeholders, we have been developing agronomy and fruit quality management training as growing seedless Watermelon is little different than traditional seeded watermelons. Today, all partners ensure premium produce supply to the market, creating added value to entire value chain allowing fair return on investment to stakeholders.

Currently Syngenta is supporting links between the value chain players (Farmer – Fruit brokers – Whole sellers – Super markets) ensuring regular supply of fruits. Connections are established with major players like Reliance premium, Walmart, Namdhari fresh, Metro, Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Ninjacart and many other local players. Spreading the message about -Let’s make your family happy with “HAPPY FAMILY” – seedless Watermelon!

For more information visit

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Anecoop forecasts 150,000 tons of watermelon this campaign

Anecoop forecasts 150,000 tons of watermelon this campaign

Spanish 2nd tier cooperative Anecoop has opened its Bouquet watermelon campaign in Almería and launched a dedicated virtual area on its website to present the fruit, given this year’s exceptional circumstances make a face-to-face presentations impossible. The campaign is based on production, research, quality and marketing to support the countryside and its farmers, in accordance with the motto: “Bringing life to the countryside”.

The Bouquet watermelon was the first seedless watermelon on the market and today, 28 years later, Anecoop continues to be the first Spanish operator of watermelons in the European market. With this product category (100% cultivated in Spain), Anecoop continues its uncompromising defence of the countryside and agriculture.

President of Anecoop, Alejandro Monzón, said: “Bouquet watermelons constitute a cultivation programme with an important social value, with a production calendar that covers six different provinces that allows numerous farmers and their families to continue agricultural activity all year.” In addition to quality and flavour, “the current consumer demands reasons for choosing us.” For this reason, “we want to communicate to society that, by choosing our Bouquet watermelons, you are helping to give life to the countryside, rather than abandoning it, and fighting against the emptying of Spain.”

General manager of Anecoop, Joan Mir, said: “The coronavirus crisis and its consequences have put the national agricultural sector to the test, but we have continued to guarantee the supply of basic food to the population despite all the obstacles that this exceptional situation has brought.” 

In 2019, Anecoop sold a record 136,500 tons of watermelon, 11% more than in the previous year, confirming the cooperative as the leading operator of this product in Europe. The forecast for the recently started campaign is 150,000 tons.

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Success of Spanish watermelon

The watermelon market is going strong in Spain. Indeed, Spaniards consume on average 8.4 kg of the fruit per year. The level of consumption has remained stable above the 8kg mark for years now, with large calibre seedless watermelon the favourite of the Spanish public. The country’s producers have enjoyed success around the globe. In 2018, Spain broke its export record by sending around 900,000 tons of watermelons abroad.