AWFUL WEATHER in April has devastated the almond harvest on Costa Blanca, threatening nougat production for this Christmas.

Alicante Province suffered the wettest and coldest April since records began, says a report from the State Meteorological Agency.

Farming organisations have already reported a drop in profits, which puts direct pressure on the nougat production ahead of the festive season.

Almond Tree La Unio
THREATENED: One of Spain’s famous almond trees

Temperatures were slightly lower than the average 13ºC, but rainfall was more than double the typical April figure.

Lack of strong sunshine has seen fungal diseases spread too, affecting harvests.

Those factors, combined with frosts in March, have destroyed some 70% of almond crops, according to farmers representatives, La Unió

As well as an immediate shortage of the popular nut now, nougat prices will increase as producers will have to import almonds from other markets.

La Unió have also criticised an agricultural insurance scheme that they claim simply does not work for almond farmers, calling it: “a real disaster”.

With subscription levels at less than 5%, they claim that the lack of premiums means limited funds for compensation (anyway).

They have requested an urgent showdown with Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture because of the far-reaching environmental, social and economic consequences of a failing nut harvest.

READ MORE: Celebrate spring: Six of the most beautiful places to see almond blossom in Spain

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