Spain: regularization of hectares of blueberries in Huelva

As reported by the Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (Asaja) to Europa Press, 156 farmers have taken this measure. In the month of March of 2014, the Huelva company Onubafruit signed an agreement with the University of Florida and Rustics of the Guadalquivir in order to normalize the cultivation of cranberry in the province so that a large part of the hectares of cranberry produce varieties patented by the University of Florida (Snow-Chaser, Jewel or Emerald) with the security and guarantees that this entails.

Through the same agreement, the farmers of the five cooperatives that make up Onubafruit (Cobella, Cartayfres, Costa de Huelva, Freslucena and SAT Condado) are guaranteed the use of the best varieties of this fruit that, due to its special characteristics, allows to reach markets when there is no competition from other producers.

The consumption of blueberry is very established in European markets due to the recognized benefits that this fruit has for health as its high content of vitamin C, its antioxidant properties, the potentiation of iron absorption or the prevention of certain types of cancer. Under this agreement, Onubafruit has also launched an action plan to promote the consumption of this fruit in the national market where it is less known.

In fact, cranberry production has had a considerable increase in recent years in the province, becoming a complementary product to the strawberry. Only in the case of Onubafruit, the production of blueberries experienced a growth superior to the 100% in the last two seasons going from 2.000 tons in 2012 to more than 4.000, taking almost the 50% of the production of this fruit in Huelva.

In addition, Onubafruit has recently become part of the International Blueberry Organization (IBO), an association that brings together the most important and influential companies worldwide in the field of blueberries, becoming the first and only Spanish company included in this entity.

The IBO currently has 35 representatives worldwide and its main objectives are to promote global consumption of cranberry and improve the sustainability of its production and industry.

For its part, Rústicas del Guadalquivir is a company with more than 40 years of history developing new varieties of fruit in close relationship with the University of Florida, under meticulous quality parameters and that makes available to Huelva farmers the latest genetic innovations reinforcing thus the enormous potential in berries of the province.

During the last season Onubafruit, which represents the 25% of strawberry and berry production, moved more than 70.000 tons of fruit and increased its turnover by five million euros to reach 133 million euros (USD 150.595.900), generating more than 3.000 jobs.

For Asaja, the signing of this agreement also means: "A sign of maturity and seriousness of the Huelva productive sector that, with actions like this one, becomes the greatest European benchmark for blueberry cultivation, a highly prized fruit in international markets", Affirmed the agrarian entity.



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