Catalonia, top producer of fruit and stone fruit
Fresh fruit is one of Catalonia's main agricultural products, in terms of economic importance, arable land, and its production volume in Spain and Europe. Exportation is also high and has risen in the last few years, taking the fruit sector to third place in food exports with a share of 10.8% and a value of over €1 Bn. Nectarines, citrus fruits, apples, pears and peaches are some of the most sold and best-valued fruits abroad.
Quality, quality, quality
Catalonia has a long-standing tradition of farming, the hallmark of which is quality. This is also the philosophy in the fruit and stone fruit sector, which is committed to seasonal production of the utmost quality and care for the environment. The result is top-class culinary produce. “We produce the best varieties here, so everyone should eat Catalan fruit," says Jordi Cruz, an acclaimed Catalan chef with three Michelin stars. Apples, pears, peaches, citrus fruits, melons, figs and strawberries from the Maresme are just some of the fruits that Cruz mentions and that can be used to make a plethora of dishes such as compote, apple cake, apple pie or duck with pear, to name but a few. The chef stressed the link between producers and chefs and recommends eating fruit that is in season and perfectly ripe.
To showcase all of this potential, Prodeca organises the participation of Catalan fruit sector companies in the Fruit Logistics Fair, the largest fruit and vegetable event in Europe which is held in Berlin every February.
Varieties with their own stamp
Various varieties of fruit from around Catalonia have their own stamp. This is a guarantee of quality, strict compliance with production and certification rules and, in sum, the link between the product and the local area. For instance, the Pera de Lleida has a protected designation of origin (PDO) that encompasses the pear varieties Limonera, Blanquilla and Conference. We also have the Poma de Girona, which has a protected geographical indication (PGI) that covers four main varieties: Golden, Red Delicious, Gala and Granny Smith. Clementines de l'Ebre are also covered by a PGI.
Another way to eat fruit
Fruit is a highly nutritional and healthy food in the Mediterranean diet. Living a busy life and having little time to eat doesn't mean we can't have a healthy, balanced diet. New formulas have been developed that allow us to have a healthy diet - which entails eating fruit - while eating at our desks.
Fruit and vegetable smoothies and juices have become popular recently, and sales are expected to keep growing. Other companies have innovated to make it easier and more practical to eat fruit. We now have fruit snacks, which are a new way of eating healthily between meals. There is also a revolutionary system to freeze fresh fruit retaining all of the vitamins, taste and original texture. And for those of us who want to eat fruit the traditional way, we can always order fresh fruit to be delivered to the office when it is perfectly ripe.