Soller is looking forward to a good orange season as well the clementines season. | LL.G.

With two weeks left of the clementine picking season in Soller, the president of the Sant Bartomeu Cooperative, Miquel Gual, says that production has gone up by 30% to a total of 50 tonnes.

He explains that the amount of fruit hasn't increased as such but that prices have. The clementines are attracting 60 cents per kilo, which is at least three times as much as in previous years. Profit is therefore the main incentive for the production volume; in other words, the amount that is actually harvested.

The quality of the fruit is also superior to previous years. Gual says that a farming engineer was taken on to advise growers throughout the whole process and has indicated when has been the best time to start picking and to ensure greater quality.

The Soller clementine business has been developing strongly. The cooperative opened new markets three years ago, with Germany having been one of them. Gual estimates that 40% of production will go to German customers. "Each week we are sending three to four tonnes to Germany."

Last year, 80% of the fruit was exported, but with the additional production this year there will be more fruit available locally. Gual notes that the sales network for smaller traders has been widened. The cooperative is also selling online via its website.

The recent rain did have some negative impact. Water absorption at two orchards destroyed the fruit.. Later varieties have not been affected.

Once the clementine harvest is finished, the orange season will start, and the forecasts for this are also good.