The Association of Fruit Producers of Extremadura (Afruex) has launched a new quality seal for plums.
Fourteen companies have so far signed up to the project and the first volumes bearing the Ciruela de Extremadura (CiEx) label are due to go on sale this month.
Afruex manager Miguel Ángel Gómez said the idea is to raise the profile of the region, which has a production capacity of 120,000 tonnes and accounts for the bulk of Spain’s plum volume.
The label provides consumers with a guarantee that the fruit has undergone a strict monitoring and inspection process to ensure that it meets certain quality parameters including brix levels, firmness, colour and size.
The label covers eight different varieties: Angeleno, Larry Anne, Fortune, Primetime, Black Splendor, Crimson Glo, Golden Globe and Owen T.
“It’s a great idea and we expect to see an improvement in results but we are taking things one step at a time,” José Aurelio Garciá of the Explum cooperative – one of the companies involved in the project – told Hoy.es.
Gómez said it was too early to predict what volume of plums will be sold under the new label as harvesting is not due to end until September. But he confirmed that a large proportion of the fruit will be exported.