Huelva strawberries

Most Spanish strawberry growers have failed to cover costs

Producers of berries and stonefruit in Spain are counting the cost after devastating spring conditions.

The Spanish strawberry sector has never had a worse season than the 2012/13 campaign, according to Freshuelva,
the association of growers in the Huelva area of Andualusia who between them account for 90 per cent of Spanish strawberry output.

Alberto Garrocho, Freshuelva president said that around 60 per cent of producers will not cover their production costs this season.

According to the association, persistent rainfall in February, March and April affected fruit quality and low light levels hindered maturity.

In neighbouring Extremadura, growers of early stonefruit have revised their forecasts downwards and are now expecting a 23 per cent fall in output compared to last season.

The harvest is expected to reach 170,000 tonnes with plums making up the lion’s share. Meanwhile, plum volumes are expected to fall by 31 per cent on last season and peaches by 12 per cent. Once again heavy rainfall and low temperatures are to blame according to growers’ association Afruex.