Julián Díaz Cano, of the company with the same name, affirms that consumption of Christmas melon originating in the Southern hemisphere is increasing every year and there is growing interest in the product. “It was five years ago now that we started complementing our supply with imported melons and since then, demand has increased significantly.”
When the produce arrives at the company it is classified, cleaned and packed according to European demand. “It is a little more expensive but consumers who are interested in this melon are prepared to pay the difference. At the same time we also provide quality guarantees and can warranty food safety.”
Regarding the different product sources, Diáz Cano confirms that “the best produce comes from Brazil, Costa Rica and Panama and although it is somewhat more complex in the North of Africa, occasionally we have imported produce from Morocco and this year we have brought in some supply from Senegal”.
The company has an annual turnover of approximately 27 million kilos, 80% of which is for Christmas melon and 20% for watermelon with and without seeds. Imported melon accounts for around 1.2 and 1.5 million kilos.
For the company from La Mancha, the season gets underway with the crop from Almeria which, in terms of quality, has turned out to be somewhat better than in 2007. The next areas to begin production are Murcia and Cartagena, which also have some good levels of quality and have increased their crops by 20%. “With our local production running from June through to October, we are hoping that this season will improve on the last in 2007 which was marked by delays in the harvest and excess production”.