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Israel: Spanish kaki could price out Sharon fruit
“It's very simple,” explained Eldad Engelberg of Mor International “When Spain is in the market, we cannot get in because they are selling at much lower prices.” The kind of persimmon which they, and other Israeli growers, grow is the Sharon fruit, which is a sweet, seedless variety. Because growing costs are more for Sharon fruit than they are for Spanish kaki fruit, Sharon fruit is sold at a premium price, and that has left Sharon fruit growers at a disadvantage in a European market where consumers are very focused on cost.
“We can't compete with them on price,” said Eldad. But he added that the timing of each country's respective season gives Sharon fruit growers an opportunity to reach the European customers.
The Spanish season and the Israeli season both begin in Mid-October, but while the Spanish typically finish in End of December, Israeli growers usually last a few more months. That gap allows Sharon fruit to sell in Europe at prices that are commensurate with the quality of the fruit.
“Prices will go up after the Spanish season” said Eldad. Almost half of what they export to Europe will go to Germany with the rest going to England and other European countries. When priced out of the European countries, Eldad said they focus on other parts of the world, as well as the domestic market which consumes about 35% of what they grow each year.
With acreage in South Africa, Mor Group is able to provide Sharon fruit on nearly a year-round basis, and while that allows them to exploit gaps in coverage from competing cheaper fruit, Eldad says we are expanding into more markets and find ways to reduce growing costs while maintaining the quality their customers have come to expect.
Some of the European supermarkets decide to keep the Sharon fruit on the shelf next to the Kaki as different Item, more expensive but with his added value ”
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