The Sociedad Cooperativa Andaluza Costa de Huelva (Coophuelva), from Lucena del Puerto, which is specialized in berries, is facing the new agricultural season 2020/2021 with the introduction of Hass avocados to its range.
Coophuelva has about 440 hectares devoted to the production of blueberries, with the most planted varieties being the Snowchaser, Star, Ventura and Legacy, among others. In the latest season, Coophuelva sold 5,104 tons of fresh blueberries and another 252 tons went to the processing industry.
According to data provided by Bartolomé Fernández, manager of the cooperative, some 275 hectares will be planted with raspberries this season, with a total of 4.35 million plants. Regarding the varieties that they will distribute, the most noteworthy are the ones that are Onubafruit exclusives, including the early Imara, Bella, Shani and Wengi, and the late Vajolet and Lagorai, although the Lyon will also continue to be cultivated. In the previous season, Coophuelva produced 3,920 tons of raspberries and shipped 450 tons to industrial processors.
As for strawberries, Coophuelva expects a 20% reduction of the acreage compared to previous seasons, with a total of 160 hectares. The main reason for this, according to Bartolomé Fernández, "is the great uncertainty that there is with the hiring of seasonal workers from other countries, especially Morocco, due to the impact that the coronavirus may have on the movement of these people."
The cooperative will distribute some 13 million strawberry seedlings to members. The prospect is that sowing will begin in the first weeks of October. Some of the most common varieties are the Rociera, Rábida, Fortuna and Primavera, as well as Onubafruit's Marabella and Rosseta.
Last year, Coophuelva sold 7,572 tons of fresh strawberries and shipped a total of 3,290 tons to the processing industry.
When it comes to blackberries, the cooperative has about 3.25 hectares. In the previous season, the production of this berry reached 41 tons, and 10 were intended for the industry. It also produced 2 tons of kiwiberry.
The great novelty this campaign is the 140 hectares devoted to Hass avocados, which will become productive at the end of the year. The harvesting and marketing of the first avocados is scheduled to start next January. The fruit's production is expected to reach between 2,000 and 2,500 kilos per hectare.