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Overseas organic citrus season gets underway at Fruitprint

"Organic market in Austria continues to grow steadily"

Fruitprint has recently dispatched the first containers of organic lemons and oranges from Chile and South Africa. "We're kicking off the season a bit later because there's still ample product available in the European market," says Pieter de Keijzer of Fruitprint. "The lemons from Southern Europe, due to a combination of a large harvest and disappointing sales this winter, have been available for a relatively long time. Despite this, I anticipate a strong demand for fresh overseas produce from July through October."

Chilean lemons.

The strict regulations concerning the presence of Citrus Black Spot (CBS) continue to loom over the citrus market, just as in the conventional sector. "The inspections are rigorous. Fields must first be cleared, followed by checks for CBS presence before and after packing lines and prior to departure," explains Pieter. "Growers in the Eastern Cape are particularly affected. Meanwhile, Europe remains a key market, as alternatives like the United Kingdom and Canada are relatively small markets for organic citrus, while the demand from Europe for organic citrus is traditionally quite large."

South African oranges.

Fruitprint is primarily focused on sales to Austrian supermarkets. "We also have a strong presence in France and Germany. Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark are emerging markets for us. We concentrate on specific programs that connect growers with customers, ensuring guaranteed sales and pricing for the producer," says Pieter.

Despite the harsh impact of economic inflation on the organic sector in recent years, Pieter looks to the future with optimism. "In our biggest market, Austria, for instance, we only see the organic sales growing significantly. With our business philosophy aimed at eliminating unnecessary costs from the chain, we prove to be an attractive partner for retailers to engage with, which ultimately benefits the consumer price. We aim to help the grower expand their market and sales opportunities. And we want to offer supermarkets the chance to establish a direct relationship with the grower."

Besides citrus, Fruitprint is now offering an increasing range of organic products from its bio-suppliers. "We are currently wrapping up the Egyptian organic onion season, in both red and yellow. Expectations were high at the start of the season. Fortunately, we work with a fairly realistic grower, who may not have fetched the highest price in the market, but for whom we have secured stable sales. We have also embarked on a promising collaboration with an organic lime grower from Colombia, with the first arrival this week. We will be receiving weekly arrivals until October, after which we will switch to Peruvian limes," shares Pieter.

"Moreover, we are receiving a steady supply of organic watermelons from Greece. We offer a variety of types: seeded and seedless, large and mini. The demand, especially from Austria, continues to be strong. Now, watermelon consumption often parallels the temperature, so we're hopeful for some sunnier weather. Last but not least, we are also receiving kiwis from Chile, but there's always a shortage of organic kiwis in the market, so the demand is expected to remain strong!"

For more information:
Pieter de Keijzer
Spindermolen 44
3371 RN Hardinxveld-Giessendam
Tel: (+31) 06 23407197
[email protected]

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