As the beginning of the European Picota Cherry season approaches in mid-June, the farmers who’re rising this unique European selection are following rigorous high quality management procedures that grant the Picota its DO (Denomination of Origin) standing. This seal certifies its distinctive sweetness, traceability, and European high quality. From the handpicking of every particular person cherry to its distinctive well being advantages, the sustainable and conventional manufacturing of the Jerte Picota cherry is an instance of European fruit manufacturing at its most interesting.
Picota cherry growers within the European Jerte Valley are wanting ahead to an plentiful harvest following this 12 months’s annual cherry blossom, signalling the beginning of the European Picota season, which lasted for nearly 3 weeks in April. The arrival of the blossom within the sunny climate meant that the valley loved one of the spectacular blossom landscapes of the previous couple of years.
The Jerte Valley is positioned 200km west of Madrid, in Northern Extremadura. Over a million cherry bushes are grown on the slopes of the mountain, on terraces. When the cherries are able to be harvested at optimum ripeness, they’re hand-picked off the bushes, leaving the stalks behind, and positioned into chestnut baskets. This methodology has been handed down from era to era. The cherries are then sorted one-by-one, on the base of the bushes, because the farmers choose solely the most effective ones to be offered and eaten. The Picota cherries are then packaged within the Jerte Valley and shipped off to their ultimate locations.
Miguel Ángel Durán, Export Supervisor, Agrupacion De Cooperativas Valle Del Jerte, stated: “This 12 months we now have skilled a chilly winter – the low temperatures make the bushes extra resilient, and so within the spring they’re now primed to bear good high quality fruit. The spring has been very beneficial with gentle temperatures, which has helped the bees to play their half, and the pollination course of has been glorious. Due to all these weather conditions, we expect an excellent European Picota cherry marketing campaign, each by way of volumes and high quality.”
The expected Picota volumes destined for the UK this season are larger than final 12 months. Durán stated: “We hope to hit 5 million kg, which is able to imply promoting 25% extra cherries than in 2020. UK customers wish to see extra Picota cherries on the cabinets this 12 months as a result of the supermarkets place them as the best pure snack through the summer season.”
The overall estimated Picota volumes for 2021 are 21 million kilos, of which 50-60% might be exported worldwide, and the remainder offered within the home market.
Agrupación is that this 12 months benefiting from a brand new promotional enterprise with Chafea, which is able to give them the chance to get Europe’s naturally stalkless cherry to extra customers. Durán provides: “With the help from Chafea, the main focus of the marketing campaign will now be on the standard and traceability of European merchandise comparable to Picota cherries. The primary goal of this 12 months’s marketing campaign is to boost consciousness of the normal, wholesome, and sustainable harvesting strategies that the European Valle del Jerte makes use of, in order that UK customers are conscious of the distinctive traits and advantages of Picotas.”
Durán explains that the UK supermarkets are already looking forward to resolve any potential setbacks posed by Brexit to ensure the Picota provide: “Due to this, we now have determined to assign a big a part of this 12 months’s crop to the UK market. Whereas it’s true that the logistical problem might be better this 12 months, we will work round it with none issues to offer the Picotas and cherries when the time arrives.”
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