Spain should cut its production of peaches and nectarines by 15 per cent in order to bring supply and demand into balance and reduce the risk of further ruinous seasons.
This was the conclusion of a study by Catalan fruit producer association Afrucat, which estimates that the region’s stonefruit producers lost €60m during the last campaign.
Afrucat CEO Manel Simon said growers will receive returns of €0.15-€0.26 per kg, while costs averaged €0.37 per kg, resulting in a loss of €0.15 per kg.
“These calculations are based on growers having an average 8ha of production, but one has to take into account that in farms of less than 5ha the costs can go up to €0.50-€0.60 per kg,” Simon noted.
Based on its study of the results of recent campaigns, Afrucat has come up with a proposal to uproot 12,000ha of Spain’s 80,000ha of peach and nectarine production.
Under the scheme, growers would receive around €4,500 per hectare that is taken out of production provided they agree that they will refrain from planting any stonefruit variety in the future.
Afrucat said the plan would cost the Spanish government €55m, less than the losses incurred in Cataluña alone in a single season.