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Francisco Javier Crespo Fuentes:

"Spanish pepper prices have been lower compared to those of the previous campaign"

Bell peppers have become the most important product for Almeria's protected horticulture in terms of acreage, production and economic value, with almost 12,500 hectares and a harvest that exceeded 893,000 tons worth over one million euros in the 2022/23 campaign. Bell peppers account for 72% of the total volume and value of the province's pepper production, according to statistics shared by the Government of Andalusia.

"In our case, at the family business Crespo Fuentes, bell peppers, especially the red and green ones, are among our main products, along with zucchini and eggplant. Each year we grow in terms of volume and, in fact, this year we have grown again by between 10 and 15% compared to last year," says Francisco Javier Crespo Fuentes.

"The campaign, which has already finished for us, came to a close with prices that, in general, have remained very stable, and the quality has been higher than in other years. The campaign started a bit later; in our case, not just because of the heat or viruses (this year, we have not had any major problems, either with virosis or with Trips parvispinus), but also because of marketing. Our entire production is devoted to exports, so we prefer to start in the second week of October, which is when clients start switching from the Dutch productions to those of Almeria. It is also true, however, that prices at the end have been lower than in the previous campaign."

"The weather conditions this year have kept the product's supply more stable, without production shortages in January or February, as we saw in previous years, when a lot of flowers were lost. Thus, large volumes have arrived at once at the end of the campaign, pushing prices down."

"However, each year has its particularities, and this year the quality has been really good and quality issues have been minimized."

Bell peppers are highly suited for export. The shipments to the European Union account for 58% of the production volume at origin. "On a national level, we work more with the red Lamuyo and Italian peppers," says Francisco Javier. "From the beginning, we have been working with our own production and that of our associates, although last campaign we also started marketing bell peppers from Murcia after the end of Almeria's campaign in order to extend the marketing period."

From week 6 of 2024, we saw a downward trend in prices compared to previous years; however, the price at origin of peppers has remained very stable. "We cannot forget that we depend on the weather. Eggplant is a very stable product in terms of volumes if the weather is good, and this winter has not brought any severe cold that would cause production shortages. We could even say that we haven't really had a winter, so we have seen no price increases due to production shortages."

Although this is not a year in which producers "are very happy with the prices," eggplant remains one of the six major horticultural products grown in Almeria, with more than 2,300 hectares cultivated in the 2022/23 campaign and 207,600 tons harvested. "The pepper season has ended, but we will continue with eggplant; in fact, that is the only product we market all year round."

For more information:
Crespo Fuentes S.L.
C/ Diagonal s/n
04716 San Agustín, El Ejido. Spain
Tel.: +34 607 286 889
[email protected]

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