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Israel: Mehadrin anticipates good season for Orri, Shamouti
Mehadrin is Israel's largest grower and exporter of citrus, vegetables and fruit. They account for roughly three-quarters of the country's citrus exports. According to Mehadrin's Packhouse manager, Benny Krechman, in the next month, they will wrap up their Shamouti and Orri clementine harvests, and Benny believes both will have good seasons.
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"Last year, we had problems with the Shamouti," he says. He notes that the previous season resulted in lower-than-average volumes and quality.
"The quality of the Shamouti was not good, and although we were able to export some of it, the volumes were lower than usual," he says. But this year, he predicts that the Shamouti and Orri clementine crops will be better in terms of quality and volume. He also believes they'll be able to compete well with citrus from Spain.
"I don't know if they are struggling in Spain," he says, "but Israeli growers, in general, are going to have a very good volume." In the European market, Mehadrin competes with Spanish fruit on quality, and although some citrus-producing countries can offer lower prices, Benny thinks Israeli fruit can trump low prices with reliable quality.
"We are in a different kind of market than growers who offer low prices," he says. "We can promise chain stores a steady supply of fruit from grower to market. We can promise a quality supply and give them what they need."
He adds that their fruit's reputation, which they continually make good on, will ultimately win out.
"It's not a secret that we, along with other suppliers in Spain, offer fruit that's more expensive," he says, "but the quality is there. We can promise a steady supply of high-quality fruit."
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