Despite producing a small amount of saffron, Spain exports a large amount of it. In order to complete the equation, the import invoice must be entered. As a result, the import of saffron along with cultivation within Spain (a negligible amount) equals the huge volume of saffron exported from this country.
Spanish saffron imports account for 30% of the world’s saffron imports, according to global saffron import statistics. There is a big gap between this country and other countries like Italy and the UAE.
Spanish saffron cultivation centers are located in Castilla La Mancha, which is near the middle of the country. This province is almost entirely covered with saffron plantations. Saffron can be planted in this area because of its characteristics. There are a number of features that make it unique, starting with its mild Mediterranean climate. During the summers, the region is hot and dry, while during the winters, it is cold and snowy. The second characteristic is the soil of the region, which is not compact and sometimes sandy. The soil in this area is dry, but it can hold the moisture needed for plant growth. The Saffron flower is resistant to drought, but at a stage of its growth, irrigation is needed.
Export of saffron to Spain
Statistics obtained in 2016 and 2017 show that about 50% of saffron exports belong to Iran and about 30% belong to Spain.
The important point of this statistic is that the main and basic profit of saffron is related to its processing and retail sale. It seems that a large part of Iran’s export is wholesale and a large part of Spain’s export is retail. And this is how Spanish saffron is called the giant of saffron retailing.
The export and trade of saffron is a discussion that Spain has started for more than 100 years and has made a good investment in this field. In Iran, the life of this matter does not even reach 30 years, and it also happens with the wholesale system. The Spaniards strongly protect the market under their control, which is the size of 140 countries, and this issue complicates the issue of the expansion of Iran’s saffron trade.
Cultivation of Spanish saffron
According to the official statistics of the cultivated area and the amount of saffron production in the world, Iran is in the first place with something like 94% of the saffron cultivation in the world and with a weight of about 450 tons. Spain is in sixth place in this statistic with 0.6% and nearly 3 tons of saffron cultivation.
about Spanish saffron
Spain is one of the exporters of saffron in the world, but it is not the largest producer of saffron. Most of the saffron produced in Spain is planted and harvested in the La Mancha region, and Spanish saffron has several varieties.
Varieties of Spanish saffron
Coupe: Coupe is the best type of saffron harvested in Spain. All the roots of Koop saffron are red and compete with Iranian Sargol saffron in terms of quality.
La Mancha: La Mancha is the most expensive Spanish saffron. The reason for the high price of this saffron is due to the planting and harvesting of this saffron in the small area of La Mancha.
Rio: Rio saffron is grade 3 Spanish, which is not very good quality, and usually in this type of saffron, there are yellow saffron roots, which are caused by the heat that is given to the saffron to dry. Rio saffron is a good alternative to La Mancha and Coop.
Sierra: Sierra is the lowest quality known Spanish saffron, rarely red roots are found in this type of saffron.
History of Spanish saffron
Around the 8th and 9th centuries, the Arabs took saffron to the Iberian Peninsula. Even the word that the Spanish use for saffron is taken from its Arabic equivalent, which is proof of this. The Arabs also brought a culture of cooking with them to Spain. It was a culture that relied heavily on all kinds of spices and vegetables, and saffron was one of the main spices. At this time, the saffron trade was the monopoly of the Andalusian nobility of southern Spain, but over time, the central regions of Spain became the center of saffron production and cultivation. There are documents and texts that show that in the 18th century, La Mancha became one of the centers of saffron production.
Saffron farms are the source of income and wealth for La Mancha farmers. Especially in the past when the value of saffron and gold was almost the same
Although saffron is considered one of the small businesses of Spain, the effort of the Spanish to grow and produce a plant that was not native to this country, brought about an approach in the country that finally made Spain find a suitable place in the world’s saffron industry. Being a saffron worker in the past was a job that brought a lot of wealth, even today this job has a lot of dignity and respect. Until now, saffron has had an important cultural position in Spain and has been a part of many important meals, festivals, gifts, and social relations, and it will probably maintain this position for a long time to come.
Therefore, perhaps the important reason for the globalization and the fame of saffron in the name of Spain is this culturalization and its introduction to the world. This is despite the fact that planting and harvesting saffron in Iran has been done on a wider scale for years, but unfortunately, it has not been well introduced in the world!
The price of saffron in Spain
Spanish buyers usually buy Iranian saffron in bulk. Because the cost of warm cargo is high and it is not affordable for Spanish buyers, also Spanish buyers buy Iranian saffron in bulk and then they re-enter the market with their own packaging.
The retail price of saffron and the wholesale price of saffron are different from each other. Since wholesale orders have high amounts, so the price of each gram of saffron is lower than retail. The price of each kilogram of major saffron there is approximately 2000 to 3000 dollars.