Stable market for most varieties
Chiquita stopped the import of Brazilian melons this year and Starfruit has taken over these activities. "We offer the same melons from the same supplier with the same quality, but in a new packaging." The market situation differs from melon to melon. "There are multiple volumes on their way at the moment and the market is stable for most varieties. There was demand for Galia early this season, as Spain stopped supplying early. This caused high prices. Israel is also on the market now with this variety and this is causing the price of Brazilian Galia to come under pressure."
Shortage of Galia
Although the domestic demand for melons in Brazil is good, there is still space for export to Europe. Eline notes: "There is a small shift in varieties. There is more demand for the watermelon Quetzali on the internal market, which means mainly seedless watermelons are being shipped to Europe." She indicates that enough volumes are being expected from Brazil this season. "Possible shortages are only expected in Galia. Not all demanded volumes are being shipped, at the moment there are hardly any volumes available for the free market." The shortage of Galia melons in Brazil has to do with the fact that the productivity is lower due to a shortage of water. Eline explains: "There have been problems with a shortage of rain water for the last three years. This is causing insufficient water in the irrigation sources. The reduction in ground water levels has resulted in the salt concentration in the water to rise and therefore become unusable for irrigation."
The melons are available from Starfruit in various packaging. "What is striking is that the demand for special packaging, such as in nets or with handles, is increasing among the retail. Of course we're playing into this," concludes Eline. Besides the Cebon brand packaging Starfruit also offers melons in neutral cartons from the same Brazilian supplier.
Starfruit is in Group A. de Witte. The group has two brands, Cibel and Cebon. The Cebon assortment has been continuously expanding since 2015. At the moment mangos, avocados and melons are being packaged under Cebon and pineapples and other products will be added in the future. "The trademark of Cebon products is that they are all top quality. We only work with the best supplier and checks on both internal and external quality are strict."