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Watermelon importer, Patrick de Roeck

"Good weather not helping watermelon market"

"This season has not been as good as others", says watermelon importer, Patrick de Roeck of De Roeck and Sons. "It isn't going too badly, but prices are not as good as usual. Prices are not only low for our Sucre watermelons, but also for our other fruit and vegetables."

De Roeck and Sons' watermelons.

The Belgian company is, according to the importer, the biggest player on the watermelon market in Belgium. They buy about 100-150 tonnes of Sucre watermelon per week, which are almost all sold to Belgian wholesalers. "We import our Sucre watermelons from Spain", says Patrick. "Countries like Tunisia, Morocco and Greece now also have watermelons. Their quality is also improving, which makes it difficult for us. Due to the competition, our prices are now at EUR 0,80-0,90 per kilo, which is still high. At market, the price per kilo is only EUR 0,50 euro."
Nice weather is not helping
While good weather and watermelons usually go hand in hand, this is not the case this time, according to Patrick "Although the watermelon season is from May to August, I don't expect it to improve."

The large 4 - 5 kg watermelon varieties.

Brand is important
There is, according to the importer, a major difference between Belgium and its neighbouring countries when it comes to the consumption of Sucre watermelons. "Belgians still attach value to brands", he says. "I think it is the same in the other fruit and vegetable sectors too. In Germany and the Netherlands it is different, I think. There a watermelon is a watermelon; the brand is not important."
Small but nice
A increasing trend that Patrick has seen is that people are wanting smaller watermelons. "The large watermelons weigh about 4-5 kilograms. That is much too big for some people", he says. "The smaller kinds only weigh two kilograms. About 20 to 25 percent of our assortment is of this smaller variety. The larger melons do taste sweeter than the smaller ones, but it is only a matter of time before this changes."
For more information:
Patrick de Roeck
Nv E De Roeck en Zonen
Werkhuizenkaai 112-154
Mag 50-52
1000 Brussel
T: + 32 - 2242 6220

Publication date: 7/17/2017


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