Spanish table grape producers moved a step closer to securing access to the Chinese and Vietnamese markets following a visit by technical delegation from both countries to Murcia.
The group toured a number of farms and packhouses to inspect phytosanitary and food safety control procedures ahead of the signing of import protocols, which could take place before the end of the year, according to industry association Apoexpa.
With an annual output of around 185,000 tonnes, Murcia is Spain’s biggest table grape producing region. The industry brings in €120m to the local economy and employs more than 15,000 people.
Most exports are sent to European markets, principally the UK and Germany. More recently, producers and the regional government have been working to open new markets including China, Vietnam, India and Canada among others.
A number of Spanish companies showcased their table grape offer at last month’s Asia Fruit Logistica trade fair in Hong Kong.
Fermín Sánchez of Gruventa said the quality of new varieties developed by Spain’s Itum-Imida breeding programme drew a high level of interest from Chinese retailers.