Agrupación de Cooperativas Valle del Jerte has fired the starting gun on the 2021 cherry harvest in Spain’s Jerte Valley.
The company, which accounts around half of the region’s famous Picota cherry production, said the first exports should be underway by the end of April, with supplies expected to run through to July or early August.
It added that the new season brings “very good expectations” in terms of volume and quality, provided there are no adverse climatic episodes in the coming weeks.
The earliest cherries are usually destined for the national market, however this year, the company will deliver them to truck drivers, cashiers and other essential workers in honour of the role they have played during the pandemic in keeping the market supplied with fruit.
“With this gesture, the cherry sector wants to thank and recognise their work in the most difficult moments and demand that they be taken into account as soon as possible as essential and strategic personnel so that they are protected in this pandemic,” the company said.
Picota cherries are grown using traditional and sustainable methods that have been passed down through generations of the valley’s farmers. The fruit is hand picked at the point of optimum ripeness, leaving the stalks behind on the trees.