Karel Vaes, Hellingenfort

"This is the best cherry season ever"

"Thanks to the beautiful warm weather, it is going very well with the cherry season", says Karel Vaes of the Belgian farm, Hellingenfort. "We have almost no torn cherries, so they are of prime quality. Last week we were afraid that things would become difficult. The cherries were getting very hot. However, these last few days have been cooler, so things are good again. We have never experienced such a good cherry season", he says.

This cherry grower expects the supply of cherries to dwindle next week. "Due to the weather, sales have been outstanding. Stocks are shrinking. Traders expect prices to rise, so cherries are being reserved and added to programmes. This usually happens at the end of July, but this year, it is much earlier. We are now seeing the price climbing for small cherries, in particular. I do not, however, expect a shortage of cherries. There is just not a surplus", explains Karl.

This farmer has not had any trouble with the extremely dry weather. "Our young trees may have had more trouble with the heat wave than the older ones. We have many old trees, so I did not notice much. The cherries are actually extraordinarily sweet and have a long shelf life", according to Karl. A large section of the cultivation at Hellingenfort is covered. The very sensitive varieties, such as the Kordia, are indeed cultivated under cover.

This year, the cherry growing company started offering its product in luxury packaging. "The packaging has been very well received. Our buyers are well pleased with it. It is not only beautiful; it is also good for the environment. Next year we are going to offer the packaging on a large scale. This exceptional cherry year is the perfect year to introduce this new packaging", concludes Karl.

For more information:
Karel and Veerle Vaes
16A Helshovenstraat
3840 Borgloon
+32 (0) 474 591 409

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