Spain: Asturian Berries continues growing in a long-term projected market
October 28, 2013

Although the blueberry campaign in Asturias, Spain, has been good, with an increase in production volumes, it has also faced difficulties because of the constant rains. "The first semester of 2013 has been the rainiest on record, with more than 1,000 litres per m² spread over very many days, which had a negative impact on the pollination of the late varieties and caused a concentration of supply in the middle of the season," explains Juan Carlos Miranda, Manager of Asturian Berries.

Six years after its foundation, the young company Asturian Berries decided to enter the berry growing business when there were just 2 hectares in the entire Region of Asturias. The sales window it has compared to its European competitors because of the region's weather, has made it possible for the crop's acreage to increase to 95 hectares in just 5 years. Nowadays, it maintains an annual 35% growth. "It is a crop with a clear long-term projection," states Juan Carlos Miranda.

Asturian Berries handles a total of 120 hectares spread between small producers in Asturias and Galicia, where they mainly grow blueberries of the Northern "highbush" type; a blueberry which, compared to Huelva's "Southern highbush", require many hours of cold temperatures. These blueberries perfectly complement Huelva's production, as the latter are harvested between March and June, while Asturia's take the June to October period. "Our greatest advantage against our largest competitors in Europe, like Poland, is that we can start the harvest earlier and finish much later."

Asturian Berries S.L. sells the fruit as part of the Hortifrut group, through Euroberry, and it works as a cooperative for small producers, who leave the company in charge of the distribution and commercialisation of their products.

In addition to blueberries, Asturian Berries also cultivates red currant, raspberries and strawberries. "This year, as a test, we successfully carried out our first strawberry campaign, mainly with the San Andreas variety, which is harvested between August and October. It grows to large calibres and has an intense aroma and flavour thanks to Asturias' climate. Given its great market success, we have decided to increase the production next season.

Fresh Plaza