In January, there usually starts to be a significant supply of strawberries in Huelva, although this year has started with bad weather and the cold slowing down the production. There has been a shortage of strawberries in recent weeks; however, the markets are well-supplied again.
"The situation at the moment is completely normal. In fact, we are at a very similar point to where we were at this same time in other years. Everything is going as planned and we are starting to see good prices. Therefore, we trust in a good development of the campaign that will allow us to obtain good results," says Carlos Masiá, marketing manager at Masiá Ciscar.
"Each campaign is different, so we cannot predict exactly what will happen in the coming weeks. The changes surprise us every year, but we are prepared and have the resources to face any scenario. You just have to see how the Food sector has responded to a critical situation such as that caused by the coronavirus. If we can handle this, we can handle everything," he says.
One of the direct consequences of the impact of the pandemic is the reduction in the acreage planted with strawberries in Huelva for this year's campaign.
"The reduction in the acreage devoted to strawberry cultivation in the province of Huelva is, unfortunately, a reality. It is a direct consequence of the situation that is being experienced due to the pandemic. The current health crisis generates a lot of uncertainty in the markets, to which you must add the fear of not being able to get enough laborers and be forced to leave the fruit unharvested. All this has caused the sector to be cautious, although the commitment to quality over quantity is once again a determining factor. In our particular case, the reduction has materialized in a 15% drop in the strawberry production. However, the organoleptic qualities that the fruit is achieving are truly exceptional," says Carlos Masiá.
"We are pioneers in marketing 100% of our own varieties"
"In our test fields, we are constantly looking for new and better varieties. It is precisely this desire to improve and innovate that has allowed us to have our own strawberry varieties. As a result of the success of our program, we now only produce and market our own strawberry varieties, including the following: Chelsea, Palmeritas, Leyre, Leticia, Calderón and Selene."
"This is how we make a difference, since we are pioneers in marketing 100% of our own varieties. And we stay up to date with what is demanded in an increasingly globalized world. Consumers are demanding and we are ready to satisfy them with high quality, long-lasting fruits," says Carlos Masiá.
Addition of blackberries to the berry catalog
The Huelva-based company has a wide range of fruits in its product catalog and berries have an essential place in it. "Besides strawberries, we work with local producers for the cultivation of resistant and delicious varieties of raspberries and blueberries, as well as blackberries. The latter have been our latest addition and we are really happy with how they are doing," says the marketing manager of Masiá Ciscar.
"Our only requirement to work with a certain fruit is being convinced that we can guarantee optimum quality," he says.
Strawberries in any corner of the world
The company's main markets are in the Iberian Peninsula. "Spain and Portugal absorb most of the production. Undoubtedly, the closeness and the similarity in terms of tastes and gastronomic traditions make that easier. We feel very lucky, since our fruits are also in high demand in much of the European continent. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries, among others, are great customers of ours."
"To these we must add countless other nations spread over different continents, which believe that our berries and citrus offer the perfect balance between health and flavor. You can find us in almost any corner of the world!" says Carlos Masiá.