Pepper, a product with value added
Balance between supply and demand of pepper is allowing the sector to yield good economic results. But, as AgrupaEjido’s commercial director Juan Cano explains, the value added offered by Almeria to the markets is being determining too.
Pepper culture, unlike other fruits and vegetables, undergoes scarce oscillation as for farmland. This factor, together with growers’ professionalism and planning, ensures balance between supply and demand, which results in certain buoyant economic situation for the whole sector. According to figures published by the Department of Agriculture of the Regional Government of Andalusia, trade of pepper in the 2012/2013 campaign was worth about €410 million, 25% higher than the previous year. AgrupaEjido’s commercial director Juan Cano, expects these results to repeat this year, although the campaign started with some uncertainty due to the high temperatures recorded in October and early November, which quickened product ripening.
Culture stability shouldn’t be considered the one and only reason for this buoyant situation. According to Juan Cano, the value added to the product by Almeria also has a say in it. Quality, safety, expertise, and innovation are responsible for this differentiation. Pepper means about 40% of Agrupaejido’s sales. They supply a broad range of varieties: Lamuyo, California, Italian, Hot, Sweet, etc., both conventional and organic. Their best peppers are arriving in the markets this year with a renewed image of their main brand names: Pandal, Almery, and Leal. ‘The sector of pepper in Almeria has always paid much attention to market demands, and won’t hesitate to implement any differentiation or innovation that could improve profitability. Don’t be surprised if you see mixed peppers of different typologies in the years to come’, added Juan Cano.
Direct actions to boost consumption of this product, not only addressing adults but also youngsters and kids, give value added to pepper. In this context, and coinciding with Halloween celebrations, which are more and more rooted in our country, AgrupaEjido launched a small, local-scale campaign encouraging consumers to replace traditional pumpkins with California orange pepper: a fun, different way to celebrate this foreign festivity with a quite Spanish product that also provides the advantage of being hollow, which allows for quicker, cleaner preparation.