In the framework of the AgroBank conference on new crops in Huelva's agricultural sector, held at the Ibero-American Forum in La Rabida, Freshuelva's manager, Rafael Domínguez, urged the administrations to ensure that the water transfer already approved this campaign is carried out, so that water reaches the County. He also recalled the request to improve the infrastructure for the cultivation of red fruits.
Dominguez highlighted the work carried out by Freshuelva for the opening of new marketing channels for Huelva's berries, and said that the producer association will continue to work at national level in the promotion of these products, which stand out for “their quality and flavor.”
Regarding the diversification of berries, Dominguez said that it is a response to the increase in intra and extra-EU competition, with the increase in the production and marketing of berries from countries such as Turkey, Morocco or Egypt. The latter, he said, has reportedly signed an agreement with the United Kingdom that could have an impact on the sale of Spanish red fruits to the UK if there was a no-deal Brexit.
Also, the manager talked about the proliferation of crops such as kiwiberry, avocado, pepino dulce or pitahaya, grown by Freshuelva's associated companies.
Spain, and therefore Huelva, is the world's fifth largest producer of berries, only behind the US, China, Mexico and Poland. The world's berry production amounts to 10.5 million tons, and 434,000 of those correspond to Spain. 97% of the country's berry production is from Huelva. In the case of strawberries, the province of Huelva is the main European producer, with 27% of the total, ahead of Poland and Germany. As for blueberries and raspberries, it ranks second, with 10%.
In her speech, the director general of Productions and Agricultural Markets of the MAP, Esperanza Orellana, said that Huelva's berry sector is a highly structured one, with 27 producer organizations that account for 84% of the production.
She added that at this point, digitalization, innovation and the use of new technologies should be tools to overcome difficulties in the commercial field and the search for new markets, as well as in promotional campaigns and the development of new varieties more adapted to the taste of consumers, while ensuring environmental sustainability.
Berry exports already reached 1,200 million Euro
The export of Huelva's agro-food products, mainly berries, reached 1,200 million Euro in the period from January to July of this year, according to the Secretary General of Agriculture and Food of the Council of Agriculture, Vicente Pérez.
In the first seven months of the year, Andalusia increased its exports by 11% compared to the same period last year, reaching 7.5 billion Euro, making it the third autonomous region of Spain in terms of turnover behind Madrid and Catalonia.