Spain - Climate change could make tropical fruits industry unfeasible

05.10.2022 229 views

Andalucia in southern Spain is home to Europe's largest avocado plantations. These fruits are sought after, but they require special care. Each kilogram of fruit needs 800 liters of water. And having just experienced one of the worst droughts in recent memory, the region’s growers are concerned.

According to Jesus Sanchez, a local avocado farmer, the current situation is not being helped by the mismanagement of the local water authority: "Right now, we're getting the water from natural underground reservoirs. Two big reservoirs were built years ago close to here to provide us water when we are short on rainfall, but the authorities never made the connections needed to actually bring that water here. If we don't have water, of course we can't keep farming.”

In short, the tropical fruit industry is facing some tough times. Added to this, is the energy crisis. Ernesto Lopez, manager of the Taramay La Union site, said the current energy crisis has meant production costs have soared, further reducing profit margins and placing more pressure on the suppliers.

"Customers are not prepared to pay more for our product especially in this climate, as it looks like we are entering a recession and this product is not considered essential," Lopez said. "So, even though our production costs are rising we don't want to pass that cost on to our customers. This means our profit margins will be even more reduced."

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