Helmut Bienek, Managing Director of Bienek Fruchthandels at the Munich wholesale market:

"Availability of quality cherries is holding up this season"

In week 20, Bienek Fruchthandels began selling Spanish cherries this year. "The season started with smaller fruits, each carrying a diameter of about 26-28 mm. However, since the middle of this week, we also have larger calibers with 30+ available. Due to the fact that the weather in Spain has been extremely bad, we are expecting much less produce this season, but above all reduced fruit sizes. The cherries have to be harvested in the meantime because otherwise the quality suffers too much. As a result, we also have a comparatively poor yield for this time of year."

The brothers and co-managing directors of Bienek Fruchthandels Ltd: Helmut Bienek and Gerhard Bienek-Nies at their stand at the Munich wholesale market.

Difficult cherry season for Spain, Italy and Germany
In the coming weeks, he also expects the first cherries to arrive from Italy. "Many regions are under water in Italy, so the Italian season will be delayed. I think it will be a very difficult year, especially in terms of quality, but also in terms of getting cherries from Spain and Italy. For the German product, due to the bad weather in recent weeks, there will probably be yield reductions as well."

Prices at medium level
At present, he said, prices are comparable to those of last year. "Given the quality, prices are even at a very acceptable level. For cherries of 32+, you currently pay between 9.50 to 10.00 EUR/kg when buying. Since it is mainly free-range, the energy costs do not yet have such a strong impact on the cherries. However, one must also take into account that above a certain price level, consumers will also no longer buy the produce."

High demand, reduced supply
Demand for cherries is currently high, he said, but this is not unusual at the start of the season. "Customers are increasingly asking for cherries. However, due to the weather, there is still a lot of spoilage in circulation. So the availability of good qualities is limited, despite the high demand." Bienek sells his goods primarily to food retailers as well as to franchise entrepreneurs from food retailers and weekly market traders in the greater Munich area.

On the pineapple range from Costa Rica
"We source our pineapples through a trader based in Spain, who delivers them to Europe from Costa Rica by ship. Our Spanish partner pre-ripens them in its own ripening facilities," explains Bienek. He added that Frunet-brand pineapples are particularly popular, and Bienek has been offering these for about a decade.

"The fruits have a top quality and are packed in wood wool, which in turn are transported in wooden boxes. We might receive more quantities than we can sell on average. We have not heard of reduced volumes so far. The unit price is 3.00 EUR for larger items. There are about seven pineapples per crate, which means that a crate costs between 20.00 to 22.00 EUR. This price can be maintained for almost the entire year. The earnings are rather low, but it is a product where there is a continuous interest," the managing director concludes.

For more information:
Helmut Bienek
Bienek Fruchthandels GmbH
Großmarkthalle 4 - Stand 92/93
Schäftlarnstraße 10
81371 München
Tel.: +49 89 74653674
E-Mail: info@bienek-fruchthandel.de 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bienekfruchthandel 

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