One of Spain’s largest packers - Cofrusa - has now begun its mandarin pack. Early indications were for a good quality crop after favourable weather during the critical pre-pick period. Industry sources estimate Spain will process 50,000 tonnes, similar to last year but way down on the 200,000 tonnes of 10 years ago.
Spain’s fruit canners have taken a battering from low-cost Chinese packers. Chinese product, which is of high quality, is popular in Germany, another key market for the Spanish. The competition has forced Spanish canners to pay growers less, so growers are more inclined to turn their backs on canners in favour of the fresh sector. Thanks to a new quota on Chinese
exports to the EU, Cofrusa president and owner Joaquin Navarro said his company would pay growers E0.17 per kilo of mandarins this year, compared with E0.11 in 2003.