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Iris Gil Mena, Frutas Goostar

“The Spanish organic stone fruit season looks good and promising”

The Murcia region kicks off the Spanish organic stone fruit season, "a few weeks earlier than in previous years. The campaign kicked off at the beginning of May, with the Calasparra production zone in the Murcia region, where our grower Antonio produces our full range of organic stone fruit: apricots, peaches, nectarines and flat peaches," explains Iris Gil Mena, organic sector manager at Frutas Goostar. This production zone promises good stone fruit production, thanks to a mild winter and good temperatures at the start of the year.

The season will continue with the Seville region, which is showing more precocity due to the hot weather and warmer winter experienced in the Andalusia region. "As the campaign gets underway, we need to be vigilant in choosing the early varieties we offer to our clients. Some are not tasty enough yet, and do not have all the selection criteria (sugar content, color, size) that our clients demand. But this year, thanks to a favorable climate in Spain, we will be able to offer fine products fairly early in the season, with great taste quality and size."

"From June onwards, we will work with our growers in Valencia, and continue on to Lleida, Zaragoza and Tarragona (Catalonia), the areas with the latest production dates.

This region is more sensitive to climatic hazards such as frost, rain and other phenomena that can affect stone fruit production. The area experiences micro-climates that can vary from one kilometer to the next. Our growers can count on a wide geographical presence in the Catalonia region to cope with bad weather and be more resistant to climatic hazards. The production forecasts are very good so far, predicting a fine harvest with more volumes than last year."

A promising and high-quality season
Production promises to be rich and good, thanks to a favorable climate. "We are off to a fine start to the campaign. This year, there was more rain in Spain, and at the right time. This means that the trees are bearing well, producing a lot of fruit of fairly large size. For the moment, northern Spain has not yet experienced the frosts that generally occur in March/April. Our growers' orchards and flowering have not been affected, so we are satisfied with the start of the season so far, and relatively confident for the coming months."

Thanks to its network of growers throughout Spain, Frutas Goostar is extending its stone fruit campaign as much as possible, in order to be able to supply its customers over a wide period (from early May to mid-September).

Demand is still timid
In terms of consumption, although the first apricots were available at the end of April, the company preferred to wait until the beginning of May before launching the season, due to a lack of sunshine not really encouraging consumers to turn to these summer fruits. "For the moment, we feel that the demand is there and that consumers want summer products. They have been eating winter produce for a long time now, and are keen to switch from citrus to stone fruit. But since consumption depends on the weather, the rain in France and northern Europe have caused the demand to remain relatively timid. We hope for better weather to start setting in.

Labella Bio, a premium and exclusive brand strategy
Through its Labella Bio brand, Frutas Goostar is positioning itself in the organic fruit and vegetable distribution market as a supplier of a premium, exclusive brand. "Faced with a sector where competition is strong and choices abound, we had to offer our clients something other than a simple generic parcel and an organic product that is not highlighted and promoted. The Labella Bio brand stands out for its exclusivity, selection, design and upmarket positioning."

This network of producers is selected according to strict specifications. "This top-of-the-range selection enables our producers to make the most of their produce and market it at a better price. We want to add value to the meticulous, high-quality work carried out by our producers, and this means enhancing the value of their products in terms of price, selection and marketing. The brand is marketed throughout France via wholesale markets, as well as independent wholesalers and distributors. Our aim is to export to European markets (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy)."

Good launch to the watermelon season
Besides organic stone fruit, the company has launched the organic watermelon season, another flagship product in its range. "We offer organic striped mini watermelons from Andalusia (Nijar-Almeria). The first ones arrived at the end of April, and the campaign will last until the beginning of September. The year is shaping up rather well, even if crops are currently suffering the repercussions of last month's rains in Andalusia. As a result, prices are relatively high this week, but should rebalance as volumes increase. "The season promises to be good, but the consumption of watermelons will depend highly on the temperatures and sunshine in France in the coming months."

For more information:
Iris Gil Mena
Frutas Goostar SL
[email protected]

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