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In Spain, a record tomato harvest was helped by record warm weather in January

“Almeria’s weather and cultivation conditions are currently more than pleasant,” says Stephan van Marrewijk, a member of the Spanish cooperative Vicasol’s commercial department. “We’ve just had the warmest January on record. Coupled with the full moon, all the tomatoes ripened simultaneously.” That resulted in record harvests, especially for tomatoes, FreshPlaza notes.

“The weather continues to be mild with lows of 14°C and highs of 22. The market couldn’t react quickly enough to these volumes, so it’s oversaturated, with plenty of push and pull. Things are slowly calming down, so we hope to return to normal sales with normal prices for this time of year soon. In the coming weeks, the market should stabilize, and we anticipate an interesting March when Spain switches and other producing countries start harvesting,” Stephan explains.

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A significant development in Spanish horticulture, he says, is the introduction of the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) resistant/tolerant varieties. Planting can thus be done as usual next season without fear of the harvest being affected. “This year, the expected virus pressure remained relatively absent. Some crops were affected, but not on a large scale, so it wasn’t really noticeable in the overall supply.”

“Organic product sales are a bit sluggish, too, due to the large supply. But there’s movement in that market, and we’ve managed to increase our market share significantly. The organic market should pick up quickly, too. This year, a rising product in Spanish cultivation is the mini cucumber, which is expected to develop further. It’s a beautiful product with plenty of potential,” Stephan concludes.

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