The new top fruit season has started once again, but according to Jeroen op 't Hof, of Hof Fruit from Heinkenzand, it hasn't quite gotten into a rhythm yet. "The prices of the apples will certainly end up at a good level this year, as the volume is seriously lower. For growers with irrigated plots with a harvest of 80% it could be a very good year, but for growers with around 30% harvest, the season won't improve even at a price of 1 euro per kilo."
"There are also quite a few problems in quality with the apples. There's all kinds available, but there are some with spots, frost damage and stripes. In general the shelf life isn't that great. The parties that haven't been irrigated in the south west, will need to be clear by around the end of January. Good parties will be well paid for, but there are a lot of parties that don't quite cut it. Yet the price of the fallen fruit is already rising and will become expensive," Jeroen expects. He is mainly active in the commission trade, where he purchases for the larger exporters. He markets the complete top fruit assortment, from the first (James Grieve) summer apples to the last Jonagold.
"The demand for Conference pears is starting to get going. That harvest is comparable to last year, but there is 70 and 20% less of Doyenne du Comice and Lukassen respectively, and the Elstar harvest is halved. But it all still has to happen. The demand for small packaging, which was in full swing already last year, is still slightly lacking and you can see this in the auction prices of the small sizes. What's positive this year are the sugar levels of the apples and pears. Those are of a fantastic level. We have delicious fruit to sell and hopefully this will make up for the smaller production."
For more information:Hof Fruit
Clara's Pad 10
4451 HD Heinkenszand
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