Kris Wouters, fruithandel Wouter Romain & Co

"Pears smaller but sweeter due to the frost in Belgium"

Due to the late frost at the start of this year the apples in Belgium suffered. Although the frost also hit the pears, this fruit was lucky according to KrisWouter of fruithandel Wouters, Romain & Co from the Belgian Rummen. Besides the pears being of a much smaller size, he says there are even advantages to the frost.

Kris Wouters with his daughter at a previous FruitLogistica.


"Due to the frost the pears are 7 to 8 millimetres smaller,” indicates the owner of the fruit trade. “There are more small pears, but the brix level is higher. Because the pears grew more slowly, not as much water was pushed into them. The pears that have been affected by frost are around 1 to 2 brix higher, than the unaffected pears.”


A lot of small sizes

Due to the frost spreading over the pears in the spring, there are a lot of small sizes of pears to be found in Belgium. “Too many, really,” indicates Kris.“Because there is a shortage of small pears, the larger variants are more expensive. I expect those prices to pull up more. Thankfully there are enough large pears available in the Netherlands, where we can also get them from. As night frost irrigation is more commonly used in the Netherlands, there are more large pears there.”


Nice peel

According to Kris it was important that the summer was warm. “This certainly was an advantage for the flavour,” he continues. “The peel also looks good. We had a similar period of frost in 1991, but the roughness of the pears was worse then than it is now. The pears bothered by frost will be more misshapen than the others, but you won’t notice this after a good sorting. The pears look good this year, we can’t complain.”

Not brown inside

The pear is also of good quality inside, according to Kris. “The pears aren’t brown inside anyway,” he indicates. “If you slice the fruit you will see a small hole which is brown and around 1.5 mm across, but it won’t get bigger. Some pears have a small brown stripe from inside to the nose of the pear, which is due to the frost. This brown won’t get worse either.”



Predicting what the pears will do in terms of price and quality over the coming months is difficult, according to Kris. The months of April and May are important, he believes. “We have had years in which we still had perfect pears around May and June, although it is hard to tell. It’s only the end of November at the moment, so it’s hard to predict what will happen in a few months.”


For moreinformation:

Wouters Romain & Co nv


3454Rummen (Belgium)

T: +32(0) 11 58 61 95

F: +32(0)11 58 10 41



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