As a stone fruit specialist, Staay Food Group has close ties with growers in Spain, also for cherries. Through our contacts with producers in the beautiful Valle del Jerte, we can offer our customers the most delicious cherries and keep them informed about the current situation in the valley on an ongoing basis.
The cherries in the Valle del Jerte (Extremadura) are produced on terraces high up in the mountains, benefiting from fresh water sources and pure air. The professionally managed cooperative consists of a large group of small-scale growers. Terrace cultivation is essential to the high level of quality of the cherries and 'Picotas'. The Picota is a crispy cherry variety with a high Brix value (which means it is really sweet) and without stalk. It has a protected designation of origin and is only grown in this valley.
Sustainable cultivation without waste.
The traditional cultivation of the cherries and Picotas is extremely environmentally friendly. Pollination is entirely natural and plant protection products are chosen carefully and only used to a very limited degree. With their traditional craft, the growers also preserve the natural look of the valley. Cherries that are out of spec are not thrown away, but made into jams and cordials. Even the pits are used, for instance in cherry pit pillows, so that there is absolutely zero waste.
The large number of growers and the distribution of companies in the valley help guarantee a constant volume of cherries throughout the cherry season. A state-of-the-art sorting machine moreover guarantees perfect sorting. The cooperative recently installed this sorting machine, one of the most modern ones of its kind in the world.
The cooperative keeps the company registers of the approx. 3,500 affiliated growers, who own a total of over 20,000 plots. This cooperative database is the basis for an airtight traceability system. Certification is also managed centrally. The cooperative uses an integrated management system for quality and environment, certified in accordance with ISO14001, BRC, IFS, TNC and, of course, Global GAP.
From the end of April until mid-August, Staay Food Group supplies different varieties of the most delicious cherries. The exclusive Picotas are available in June, July and August.