Rafael Dominguez, the manager of Freshuelva, stated that -as long as the weather conditions are good- they expect to produce some 270,000 tons of strawberries this season, a volume comparable to that of 2022.
According to Domínguez, the falling purchasing power in Europe is a source of concern for the sector. "Inflation in the destination countries for Huelva's soft fruit, such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, can lead to lower demand for our product. Moreover, our costs have risen sharply."
"Fierce competition from Morocco's raspberries"
Freshuelva's manager regretted that the autumn raspberry season went badly because of the unfair and fierce competition from Morocco. Morocco has shipped almost twice as much product to the European market as Huelva, causing Spanish growers to see their income drop sharply. The Moroccan product is cheaper because it has lower cultivation costs than Europe. "Morocco is not treated as a third country in exports to Europe, even though it is one. As a result, it causes the market to collapse."
"We are concerned that no solution is being sought for this problem," Dominguez stated. "We are not on an equal footing." Moroccan exports should be regulated as they once were, he said. Morocco should pay a fee at customs after having exported a certain volume to the EU. It currently does not pay import duties on raspberries, even though it is not an EU country.