The high temperatures recorded in the province of Huelva during the months of November and December have accelerated the ripening of strawberries and advanced the start of the 2015/2016 campaign, which will result in the first strawberries hitting the market at Christmas.
The president of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries from Huelva (Freshuelva), Alberto Garrocho, explained that November has been almost like March, while in December the temperatures have resembled those typical of February; consequently, the fruit's harvest is kicking off almost a month ahead of the usual date.
In this sense, he explained that the campaign has started in practically all of the province's production areas, with the early Fortuna, Splendor, Primoris or San Andreas varieties, although the volumes are still small.
Garrocho explained that this weather is allowing the fruit to reach an optimum quality and taste, which together with its early arrival on the market at a time when there is hardly any supply, is making the strawberries from Huelva much more competitive.
The president of Freshuelva has consequently described this early start of the campaign as positive, as it is allowing the sector to have a great start and become optimistic for the campaign, even though, as always, its development will be marked by the weather conditions registered in the coming months and the product's performance in the markets.
Huelva's strawberry sector is facing the 2015/2016 season with 5,860 hectares planted, 8.73% less than in the previous campaign. By contrast, the number of hectares planted with other berries, such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, has registered a 25% increase, with a total of 1,815, 130 and 1,953 hectares planted, respectively. The total acreage devoted to berries in Huelva amounts to 9,658 hectares, a slight increase compared to the previous campaign and with a sector openly committed to ensuring the profitability of the crops.