Platero's cradle, unstoppable

The activity of the Moguereña entity does not stop. Its new projects take the form of both research and the technological improvement of its fruit and vegetable center.

Cuna de Platero is a cooperative always at the forefront. What are the latest developments in which they are immersed?

Cuna de Platero has been carrying out its own varietal research project for years, with which we have achieved significant achievements in blueberries. Now, in order to bring together and centralize all the tests on a single farm, we have land near the warehouse, which is also close to our laboratory. Until now they were decentralized in the fields of cooperative members. In this way we will gain efficiency. Research on new varieties is a priority issue and a key issue for the future. We are licensees of what we consider to be industry leaders, but we are also immersed in our own research.

Cupla is the product of this research and has given them much joy.

Effectively. The Cupla variety is the result of these tests. For us, the future involves a substantial improvement in varieties and we continue to work on it, not only in blueberries but also in raspberries.

Fruit Today magazine interviewed Juan Báñez, its general director who told us about the most recent journey that the cooperative is carrying out.

And inside the plant there is news?

Yes, we have also made a big technological commitment worth around 3,5 million euros for a new blueberry sorting and calibrating machine. On the other hand, the works do not stop, we are in full remodeling of our offices, which will also become more centralized and equipped with photovoltaic energy, which will make them practically self-sufficient.

How do you see the current season?

We have gone from moments in which supply was greater than demand (November and December), due to the precocity caused by a hot autumn, to a stage of greater stabilization in the month of January, where supply and demand accompany.

In other words, until mid-January we had more production volume and less price than last year, but now the situation has balanced out, with a situation typical of the month of January.

Can you give me the figures for this campaign?

We will keep the area planted practically stable, with around 1.000 hectares of production including all the berries. The volumes are difficult to predict because the campaign is long and the weather uncertain, but we could be around 50 million kilos.

With the productions from Avila, you have become 'long haul' suppliers. How did the summer season go?

Ávila allows us to satisfactorily meet our objective, which is to serve our clients during the 12 months of the year. We have sufficient volumes from June to December to cover customer requirements at a time when there are not many operators in the market.

Do you think they will have labor problems again?

Undoubtedly. In Huelva there are several points that have not just been resolved. One of them is labor and the other is water, which possibly has a closer solution than the first. Regarding labor, we have contingents from various countries that, in theory, correspond to a certain number of people, but then fewer always arrive. Added to this problem is another, since there are people who leave this labor market, like the Romanian community. There are also other sectors that demand labor and always leave agriculture aside. Therefore, we have workers who come, but there are also others who leave.

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