Anecoop has become the first company in Spain to develop commercial papaya production, bringing to fruition a project initiated seven years ago with the University of Almería.
Last November the company set up a group of 10 producers in Almería to coordinate supply and quality, following a similar model to its persimmon group.
The group carried out its first exports to Europe earlier this year and between May 2016 and May 2017 it expects to ship 1,500-2,000 tonnes of the fruit.
“We are the first company in Spain to invest in high quality papaya production to supply the European market,” said Anecoop president Alejandro Monzón. “Going forward, our key objective is to keep on improving the quality of our offer.”
Papayas are the third most widely grown tropical fruit after mangoes and pineapples and consumption is growing throughout Europe as the fruit’s health benefits become more widely known.
Production is concentrated mainly in Asia (51 per cent) the Americas (37 per cent) and Africa (12 per cent). Spain currently accounts for just 0.1 per cent of global output, this being produced mainly in the Canary Islands.