It is probably that one of the most asked questions around the world is: why is lettuce the main character in the majority of the salads? At MYRTEA we do not doubt it: because of its great benefits. Customers are really clever and it is not casual that lettuce, in all of their varieties, is one of the most famous vegetables not only due to its flavor, but to its nutritional properties and low calories.
Why is Spanish lettuce the best?
Lettuce is a healthy vegetable with a high sensitivity to cold, that’s why their growth is in temperate areas, mainly outdoors, but it could be seen in greenhouses. It is known that there are more than 20.000 species of lettuce, but only a few are cultivated. Some of the principal are: romaine, iceberg, batavia, trocadero, oak leaf and lollo rosso.
Moreover, this vegetable is low-calorie, and high in water, which is very attractive for the consumer. It offers vitamins C, E, antioxidants and fiber. The effectiveness of the spanish growers makes possible the fast turn-around time from the fields to supermarket shelves ensures a fresh product and helps preserve the relatively high content nutritional properties despite the fact that it’s about 95% water.
Lettuce production in Spain
Spain is one of the countries, together with the United States, China and India, that produce more lettuce during a year. Concretely, Murcia is the region where the majority of lettuce is produced. According to the data approximately 75% of production of spanish lettuce comes from our region. The reason why its popularity is the climate, thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. The soil and the water are issues that growers can control, although the weather can’t be taken for granted.
Murcia, and some parts of Almeria and Alicante are the only areas in Europe that have this perfect conditions to make lettuces grow properly during the months of November to April. Though considered a summer vegetable in more northern climates, the hot days and cool nights in this area throughout the autumn and winter months provide the ideal climate for this outdoor crop to thrive, making it possible to supply lettuce to the rest of Europe during the coldest months of the year.
The two main milestones that have driven the growth of production in Murcia are the Trasvase Tajo-Segura in the 80’s and the introduction of the iceberg variety. In fact, 82% of the production belongs to the Iceberg variety and the remaining 18% to the romaine and other varieties.
Lettuce exportation in Spain
In terms of the exportation, lettuce is the third most exported vegetable in Spain and it is predicted to have a clear positive evolution. 80% of this product is consumed within the European Union, particularly in countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Italy.
These European destinations make sense for a product that must be kept cold at every stage of production and shipment, and must arrive as fresh as possible at its destination. Due to its big volume of exportation, lettuce has become the most outstanding export product from Murcia’s orchard.
The management of the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers-Exporters of the Region of Murcia, believes that it is the continuous research that has allowed to put on the table new varieties, highly valued in many corners of Europe. Only in the Region of Murcia, there are 14 centers of fruit and vegetable experimentation.
The lettuce from The Region of Murcia is quite valuable because of the conditions of the weather and the professionality of the growers. For that we work hand-to-hand with Sol de Levante in order to offer you the best service for the highest quality of the lettuces produced in Region de Murcia and bring them to you, any time, any season.