"The continuity of Spanish strawberry cultivation is in danger because nobody respects it"
As the campaign s
tarts, strawberries become a big product at greengrocers and the fresh produce departments of supermarkets. There's high demand for the fruit, but unfortunately, some supermarket chains use it every campaign to attract consumers with aggressive promotions, jeopardizing the great effort made by thousands of producers and seasonal workers to reach consumers with a product that meets the demanding quality standards dictated by the markets, both national and international. "Strawberries are the most important product in a greengrocer between December and June, when stone fruit arrives, and no one can afford not to have strawberries on their shelves," says Francisco Sánchez, manager of the Huelva-based second grade cooperative Onubafruit. "That is why it absolutely shouldn't be used by supermarkets in their price wars." "The sector is fed up, because strawberry cultivation is risky and requires a lot of investment and then it doesn't feel rewarded," says Francisco. Also, the weather is playing an important role in the development of this campaign. “The fog and humidity from mid-January until now is the reason why today at least 50% of the production being picked in the fields is discarded. At Onubafruit, we have been losing more than 1 million kilos per week for two weeks, which translates to about 7 million Euro,” says the company manager. "And it seems that supermarkets are choosing to ignore that. What's more, it's amazing that they run promotions when we're only supplying 50% of the orders. I don't see any sense in it; promotions are made when there is oversupply,” says Francisco Sánchez.
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