"We have been harvesting green asparagus for two weeks, although in limited quantities. This year, we have managed to advance the harvest by between 20 days and a month thanks to the cultivation in microtunnels and also to the good weather conditions, with many hours of sunshine and warm temperatures," says José Antonio Gómez, president of the Espárrago de Granada cooperative.
It is worth recalling that last year, the production was delayed until the beginning of April due to bad weather conditions, causing some overlap between Granada's harvest and the production from other European origins, such as Italy.
"Thanks to this early start, we kicked off in a more stepped and orderly manner this year, and we hope that this trend will continue throughout the campaign," he says. "Also, if we ignore the overseas production, Spain will be between a month and a month and a half alone as asparagus supplier in Europe. From the second week of April, the harvest will take place in Italy," he says.
However, at the moment, Mexican asparagus dominates the European market. "Demand is a bit slow at the moment and prices are not very high despite the product being the first of the season. There are also other factors at work, such as the strong presence of asparagus from Mexico. In about ten days, we will have consistent quantities and a more optimal quality, since it has rained very little in recent weeks. Once we can supply constant volumes to the European distribution chains, these will give way to the Spanish asparagus, and they usually pay better for it."
In the last four years, the acreage planted with green asparagus has grown by around 40% and now it seems it is stabilizing due to the oversupply recorded at specific moments in recent seasons.