The recent snows in Spain didn't reach Huelva on the coast. Nonetheless, the current icy weather has severely affected soft fruit production in the area. "There were many uncertainties on the market. These have all been resolved now because there's no product available," observes Jan van Bergeij. He's responsible for the Plusberries group's raspberry sales.
Jan van Bergeijk
"Raspberry and strawberry production has practically stopped. The cold is preventing these fruits from ripening. It seems it'll remain bitterly cold. That will slow down their growth considerably. Because the fruits aren't ripening, they could soften. Although, that varies significantly per variety."
"Demand, especially for raspberries, is sky-high at the moment. Not so much for strawberries. That's because there's supply available from Morocco and Egypt. But there are certainly no surpluses," says Jan. He introduced commercial raspberry cultivation in Huelva over 30 years ago.
"We had a very stable start to the season. Growers generally planted slightly fewer raspberries and strawberries and a little more blueberries. Christmas sales went well. We had hardly any production peaks or drops in demand either. I, however, expect the current situation to continue until the end of January, beginning of February," Jan concludes.