Growers in the Ribera del Xúquer valley near Valencia were able to overcome volume challenges due to adverse weather conditions, in order to achieve a decent supply and the excellent eating quality that consumers have come to expect.
Heavy rainfall and hailstorms earlier in the season resulted in a 15% overall drop in the number of fruits exported to the UK. Just over 4,000 tonnes of P.D.O. Persimon® were sold between October and January versus 4,600 tonnes last year. This resulted in an almost equal decline in exports to all overseas markets - 81,000 tonnes of Persimon were exported worldwide.
The Kaki de la Ribera del Xúquer regulatory council, which governs its P.D.O. status, has reported however that the season still produced good fruit quality. Rafael Perucho, head of the council, said: “The Kaki Persimon is a product that is gradually growing in awareness and popularity among consumers, and we hope to further expand the market share and to build on its continued success.”
Persimon is the trademarked name for the P.D.O.-certified Spanish fruit - spelt with a single ‘m’, which distinguishes it from other persimmon fruit. The P.D.O. status ensures it is the Rojo Brillante variety and has been grown in the Ribera del Xúquer valley region where it was first discovered; and also that the fruit comes from growers that have passed a series of checks on aspects including traceability and quality of the Persimon® they supply.
The regulatory council and Foods from Spain have been working together since 2005 to promote this unique fruit to the UK market. The 2020/21 campaign consisted of retailer activity, trade and consumer advertising on BBC Good Food online, recipe creation, social media, print and digital features and press gift boxes.
The aim of next year’s campaign is to continue to create awareness amongst the UK consumers and trade about the quality and unique benefits of the Persimon fruit. Perucho adds: “Our goal for next season will remain the same: to increase the awareness of a product that is still relatively new in the European market. We know that it can still grow more market share.”