The winter was a real winter this year! We had a lot of rain (and snow) from the South to the North. This was very welcome in most of the regions as it fills up the soil reserves after a very hot and dry growing season. We also had some deep frost in the North, which is very good to control pests and to improve the soil structure.
Now, we are hoping for a normal season this year as our herbs and vegetable crops have been highly affected in the recent years. For example, we had green beans yields up to 30% below normal harvest years, which was very disappointing for our farmers and agronomists.
In the South, we finished harvesting most ofthe Broccoli by mid-February and the first spring broccoli were planted one week later. If the heavy rains were welcome for the summer crops, this time they affected the second part of the winter broccoli crops, resulting in a shortage of 10 to 15%. The sowing of the first crops was also perturbed. A part of the peas and broad beans have not been drilled in the Iberica region due to the excess of water, and the broccoli planting was also delayed.
In the North, we finished the harvest of the winter crops with a shortage on brussels sprouts and leek. The dry conditions of the second part of February permitted to start sowing the first peas and spinach at the end of the month which is very good news. After a very long winter of lockdown, farmer sand agronomists are on the starting blocks for the new season. The seeds are step by step delivered to the factories, we are checking the quality of the germination and finalising the planting schedule for season 2021.
As plant-based food trends reach global phenomenon status, the “plant-based”category continues to evolve. The Innova Consumer Survey 2020 indicated that the top four reasons for considering plant-based alternatives are health, diet variety, sustainability and taste. Ardo offers a perfect answer to this growingtrend. Freezing ensures maximum preservation of the nutritional content and enables consumers to purchase top-quality seasonal products at any time of the year, produced in a sustainable way. This constitutes the perfect motivation toget started on planning the 2021/2022 crop programs for the Ardo range of vegetables, fruit and herbs.
Fingers crossed for better harvests in 2021...