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Belgian auctions searching for the ideal strawberryIn Belgium, there are several fruit auctions with fruit and in particular the strawberry plays a major role. In the strawberry production and market in recent years many developments have been and are still ongoing. In this article four Belgian Auction specialists give their opinion about the varieties, market, marketing and future of this fruit. Remarkably, each auction has its own brand and is thus distinct from the market. Auction Borgloon, Hoogstraten, Haspengouw and the Belgian Fruit Auction all give their all, to continue to develop in this market. How will the strawberry of the future look? They all agree: this is one with the optimum combination of taste and shelf life.
Breeds / Area
The main breed in Belgium has long been the Elsanta and this is also sold at all auctions. Besides Elsanta there are also other varieties available. For Auction Borgloon there is the Portola. "This variety is really typical of our region. In the years before there was a decrease in the acreage, but since the producers jointly chose Portola, production increased again," says Mieke Thoelen. "First it was Selva's main variety, but this market suddenly collapsed. In the following period different varieties were tried. This is a productive and strawberry. A disadvantage is the neutral taste. But this is often true of a longer lasting strawberry." This is also confirmed by Jan Engelen, Veiling Hoogstraten. "Varieties that have so far been developed with a perfect taste are generally shorter in shelf life and vice versa is also true. Up to now, is the most satisfactory is the Elsanta variety. The taste is good. "In the area of new varieties the developments are in full swing. Rudi Peters of the Belgian Fruit Auction indicates that besides the Elsanta, Clery is their main variety. "We are also now for the second year working with the new variety Elegance and we are getting good responses from the market. I expect a good potential for the Elegance.
Production / Distribution
"In terms of production 2011 was a top supply. Due to the warm period different plantings overlapped each other. Consequently, the strawberries in terms of size were generally smaller and the prices were lower," said Etienne Leclere. "Last year we auctioned 2.5 kilos of strawberries. This is an increase of 35% compared to the previous year. For this year we expect more strawberries if we take the climate is good and we do not suffer from late frosts. "Veiling Hoogstraten had a record volume in 2011. Jan Engelen: It was a volume of 27.5 million kilo.
Brands / Promotion
The auctions market their strawberries each under its own brand. For Borgloon, Eburon and for Hoogstraten the Hoogstraten label. The Belgian Fruit Auction sells the strawberries under the brand TRUVAL and Haspengouw has Haspengoud label.
Etienne Leclere from the auction Haspengouw does not expect future enhancements will be extreme in the acrage. "I rather think that this will increase slightly and we may stabilise." Jan Engelen see a nice increase in the consumption of strawberries. This is expected to grow further in the coming years. "In collaboration with research at home and abroad Auction Borgloon continues to search for varieties that meet the increasing demands of trade and consumers. The Belgian Fruit Auction sees the new season and the future of the strawberry positively.
Publication date: 5/14/2012
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