La Unión is optimistic about the new melon and watermelon season in view of anticipated wider sales and the increase in the number of destination markets. This forecast corresponds to the planning of crops in Almería and Granada that has been designed to guarantee a stable supply of top quality products and adequately fulfil all commercial commitments. Depending on weather conditions, the season is expected to be over by the end of September.
Data from recent campaigns refer to the 60,000 tonnes of watermelon and 12,000 tonnes of melon recorded last year, figures that were already an improvement over the previous season. The outlook for 2018 is an improvement upon those figures. La Unión has been maintaining this volume for 5 years, which has made it one of Spain’s top marketers powers of watermelons and melons.
Commitment to the grower
La Unión’s commitment to growers covers the monitoring of the production process, technical advice and quality control to obtain first class products and good farm gate prices. The company has indicated that “for us every season is a new challenge to get the best for both our growers and our customers”.
Consumer developments and food requirements have introduced new advances in the cultivation of these fruits. One market trend is towards a seedless watermelon weighing between 3 and 5 kilos. La Unión, on the other hand, markets all the varieties of watermelon (black, white, seeded, seedless, yellow, mini, etc.).
La Unión hopes that the planning of the campaign and the higher quality will ensure good prices for the producers and greater loyalty of the consumer markets of this type of product and the opening up of new destinations.
In terms of quality and taste, expectations remain high. The experience of previous years indicates that watermelons and melons grown in Almería and Granada comply with all the standards of quality and food safety. “In La Unión we make our Technical Department available to growers, who can count on us for any questions they may have, and we will be happy to help and guide them throughout the crop cycle,” a statement claims.
During this new season La Unión aims to market the sweetest watermelons on the market through Shybari, its new premium fruit and vegetable brand. The company has reported that it has introduced NEAR INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY (NIRS) technology at its production plant, a non-invasive technique that allows the sugar content of each watermelon to be determined, thereby ensuring the optimum amount of Brix degrees and guaranteeing the quality and sweetness of the product. Using advanced optical sensors for analysis and classification, NIRS automates the handling and packaging line, reaching speeds of 2 fruits / second without waste generation. In this way the ideal sweetness of each individual fruit is guaranteed.