ANALYSIS OF THE ARTICHOKE TRADE
Agricultural businesses have to confront the increasing demands of consumers and an increasingly competitive market. This is as true for artichokes as it is for any other agricultural products, and is responsible for the changes introduced in the way artichokes are brought to market. Spain is the worlds leader in the export of both fresh and processed artichoke, with 35 and 71% of the respective markets and the second in production after Italy (23%). Within Spain, Murcia is the greatest producer (35% of the total area dedicated to its production in Spain, 42% of Spanish production and high yields of 19 t/ha). The province is the greatest exporter of fresh artichoke in Spain (75%) and the second greatest exporter (33%) after the Valencian Community. The main production area in the province of Murcia is the Guadalentín Valley, which possesses almost half of the regional area dedicated to its production (48%) and Lorca (38% of the regional area). The marketing of fresh artichoke has two main problems: on the one hand, the difficulty of preparing a product taking into account the modern day preference for easy-to-use fruit and vegetables and, on the other, their sameness, which hinders competitive marketing since consumers fail to differentiate between what is being offered. The purpose of this study was to follow the artichoke production chain from grower to consumer in an attempt to identify any inherent problems and to make recommendations that will increase their competitive position. Some of these recommendations encourage firms to develop minimally fresh processed lines (peeled, washed, sliced, etc.) packed in easy-to-open containers under controlled atmosphere to prolong their best-before dates. Such added value should be sold to consumers and an authentic policy of brand recognition and promotion adopted.
Arcas Lario, NARCISO and Juan Fernández, A. (2007). ANALYSIS OF THE ARTICHOKE TRADE. Acta Hortic. 730, 457-464
import, export, consumption, distribution, prospects