Simón is very cautious when speaking of this coming campaign: “I feel I must be prudent with respect to this year’s forecasts because, even though as of today everything is indicating that the produce will be good quality, circumstances can change overnight due to changes in the weather.”
What Simón is prepared to state is that there is great interest in “Alicante’s Cherry Mountain” in foreign markets, particularly in Britain. “But even in this regard, we have tried to send a message of prudence because we are unable to enter into large-scale programmes, and certainly not in the long term.” In this sense, he has also clarified that an Economic Interest Group was set up two years ago and this now represents 95% of the production; if it is necessary to programme larger volumes, it might be possible to respond to this demand.
In any case, this campaign will be decisive for the sector’s future, which has already accumulated more than one season with major losses of crop before the harvest and the subsequent financial harm for growers. Specifically, this last year, the Regulating Council only certified 20% of the produce stamped in a normal campaign.
In this same vein, Simón stated that “the sector is doing everything necessary to survive, but we need to have the weather on our side”. This is why, under the leadership of field technicians, farmers are undertaking major projects to switch to new varieties that can withstand bad weather better.