Bagged salad manufacturer Florette Ibérica has recently started with the lettuce and endive harvest in the municipality of Olmillos, in the province of Soria. The process had been delayed by more than two weeks due to the abundant storms of the past few weeks.
The company has about 60 employees on the farm, most of them permanent, who regularly work with Florette and whose main job is to plant and prepare the farms. "Due to the delay in the harvest caused by the hail and rains, we have not yet needed to hire many seasonal workers," says Florette's director of agricultural production Carlos Faiante.
In any case, he is convinced that "despite the difficulties we face every year to fill these positions, we will have all the temporary workers necessary to carry out the harvest." In the middle of the campaign, the number of employees may double, depending on the harvesting needs.
Early in the year, Florette Ibérica renewed its agreement with the Irrigation Community of the Canal de Olmillos, which will allow it to continue planting its crops on 180 hectares for another five years. This is a smaller acreage (-20% compared to previous seasons, but the company said that this is justified by the geographical expansion across the country of crops such as brassicas and spinach).
This is the third contract signed by the company with the Irrigation Community. The previous one had lasted for seven years and included rental prices that the irrigators of Olmillos have decided to keep to secure the agreement and prevent the producer from moving to another area.
After a selection of the crops that proved to be most suitable for the area, as well as of the most optimal varieties for each production period, Soria established itself as a summer production area for Florette and is now mainly devoted to lettuce and endive.
Last year, five million kilos of lettuce, spinach and brassicas were produced in the province, but this year, Soria will focus on the production of lettuce, endive and the like.