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Piet Verbrugghe, Calsa:
"After the drop out of Russia we could make good use of new markets"
For the first time Calsa participated in the Asia Fruit Logistica as a stall holder. "We have been sending primarily open ground vegetables to markets such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It's a shame that there are so many phytosanitary restrictions for Belgian specialties such as peppers, Coeur de Boeuf, snacking and cherry vine tomatoes, as a lot of visitors look with wonder at the quality, presentation and flavour of what we show here."
Piet Verbrugghe, Calsa
"Last year we sent Bel'Orta pears to China for the first time as well. It went well, our customers were very satisfied with them," says Piet Verbrugghe. Although unfamiliarity with the roughness of the pear is still seen as a problem, according to the exporter, it would be a bigger problem if the pears were too soft or tinted. "China mostly demand the sizes 60 and 65. This year I hope that they will buy some smaller calibres, as most producers won't have a lot of 65 and will harvest more 55mm. The quality for long term storage looks good for now, so I'm hoping for a good season, as we could make good use of new markets like China with the drop out of the Russian market."
Another Asian market, India, has also being manifesting itself as a good market for Belgian apples in recent years. "They do very specifically ask for the red Jonagold mutants, such as Red Prince and Jonagored. The greener the apple, the more difficult. In the future we might sell slightly less apples in India, as only the best coloured apple in a nice firm packaging will leave satisfied customers," says Piet. "The question is how the apple export to Asia will go. The Belgian harvest is two thirds lower than last year and we have a lot of larger sizes that don't sell as well in India."
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Publication date: 9/13/2017
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