The Valley Gold mandarin campaign was marked by low production – due to the fact that most of the plantations in Spain are still very young – and by stable and positive prices, despite the general difficulties of the citrus season.
“Despite the low volume brought to market, several retailers have shown interest in the fruit, ranging from small to large stores,” explains José López, Citricom’s sales manager for Spain.
“The tests carried out at different times have given us positive feedback from end consumers, especially regarding their ease of peeling and their high internal quality. The Brix, acidity and percentage of juice, as well as its orange color very intense reddish, also make an attractive fruit for the end consumer,” he says.
“Although it is true that in some plots we had quality problems related to the lack of experience in managing the variety, with the coordination of the farmers and Citricom, we managed to solve them and learn for future campaigns,” says José López.
It should be remembered that the Valley Gold variety is an early harvest variety, since its optimal harvest time is during the first days of January. According to the trader, this has prevented prices from being significantly affected, unlike what we are seeing with other varieties in the current second season mandarin campaign, with most trades closing at prices between 0.55 and 0.60 euro per kilo, and a supplement of 0.15 euro per kilo in organic farms.
“Today, one of our goals is to continue growing both in terms of licensed area and volume, to be able to offer larger volumes to retailers,” said José López.
Currently, the license cost for the Valley Gold variety is €2,500 per hectare, plus associated expenses, which can cause misunderstandings. “In order to simplify this for winegrowers and to protect those who, to date, have opted for the variety by 2023, we will consolidate these costs into €5,500 per hectare, which will be paid over two years so that winegrowers do not couldn’t afford such a high initial investment,” he says.
José López affirms that Valley Gold is a very productive variety, exceeding 60,000 kilos per hectare, and that the volumes remain stable every year. Moreover, it resists Alternaria. “This, coupled with low licensing costs, makes it a very good option for producers.”
“Valley Gold is a protected variety, so to plant it it is necessary to have a license signed and paid to Citricom. In case of not having sorted all the papers, the plot will be illegal and the producer will be subject to prosecution and the application of sanctions, based on current regulations and Citricom’s rules,” said the company’s sales representative for Spain.