The cold snap sweeping southern Spain has led to a sharp drop in berry production in recent weeks.
According to Rafael Domínguez, president of grower and exporter association Freshuelva, the harvested volume is 10-12 per cent lower than at this stage last year.
He noted that as the cool temperatures are also keeping demand in check, the market is generally well balanced in terms of supply and demand, and prices are around 8 per cent higher than last year.
Speaking to reporters in Huelva after a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Rodrigo Sanchez Haro, Dominguez said: “right now we are not putting the same quantity of fruit onto the market as in other years because of the different climatological conditions”.
Producers are concerned that the frosts could also affect fruitset in other berries, namely blueberries.
Freshuelva held a special event at last week’s Fruit Logistica to present the fourth edition of its International Berry Congress, which takes place in Huelva on 20-21 June.
In recognition of the growing importance of blueberry cultivation in Huelva, Freshuelva created the Blueberry Committee at the end of last year, which has since been incorporated into the International Blueberry Organisation.