About the different varieties
Every year strawberry plants are imported in Morocco, mostly from Spain, to cover 3.000 hectares of strawberry growing area. This is a yearly process to guarantee a good yield of the plants. This equals +/- 50.000 plants, each plant capable of offering 900 g of strawberries.
In recent years there has been a shift in the spread of the different strawberry varieties meant for the frozen fruit processing industry (check our infographic). Traditionally, Camarossa was the typical strawberry for frozen processing. In the past years, the volumes of Camarossa are decreasing, in favour of varieties like Sabrina (32% of the total surface) and San Andreas (15%). Sabrina is now the biggest variety, due to the good taste, both fresh & frozen, and due to the good yield per plant. Camarossa has typically large and firm fruits and now only accounts for 7% of the total surface and is especially used in the beginning of the season for the production of cubes.
Moreover it is good to have a spread in varieties, which all have peaks on different moments, guaranteeing a constant supply throughout the whole processing season, from March until June.
Have a look at our frozen strawberry range & the different specifications >>
Growing importance of frozen strawberries from Morocco
Last year around this time of the year we published our crop outlook 2016 & historic data.
We wrote about the rising importance of the frozen market in the past years: frozen strawberries now account for 76% of all Moroccan strawberry export, compared to 62% 10 years ago. The figures of the 2015-16 season confirm the evolution, with again a 76% share of frozen strawberries versus a 24% share of fresh strawberries. In terms of volume, we saw frozen strawberry exports rising with 21% in 2015-16, compared to the year before.
Strawberries stay the most important red fruit in the Moroccan red fruit production. The evolution of acreage spread of red fruits showed a slight decline for strawberry plants (now 52% of al acreage vs 62% in the previous season) in favour of blueberries (now 23% of the acreage vs 14% in the previous season, figures by CCFR).
We are seeing more demand for frozen strawberries from Morocco by demanding countries like Japan & USA. The reason is that Morocco is a long term stable supplier, with constant supply between March & June, thanks to its big farms of 100 to 200 hectares). If you look at the Polish market for instance, Polish Senga strawberries have a very good taste profile, but due to the short crop (2 weeks) and the smaller size of the farms (5 to 10 hectares) the supply & the prices are much more volatile.
What is the right moment to buy strawberries for your product & what is the impact on the pricing of your end product?
>> Get advice from someone of our team
Outlook to the new crop
It has been very cold in the last 10 days of January, so there is a delay in production & the fruits have been ripening more slowly. This slow ripening can be very good for the sweetness of the fruits. We expect to start the frozen strawberry campaign end of February in our factory in Larache.