The Chilean cherry is a real Christmas product and is therefore only on the market for a short while. This is according to Marcel van Rooyen of Dutch importer Verdi. "This product is does best a week before Christmas and after that leave it alone because you will not make any money," he explains. "On average we handle two pallets per day and these arrive by air via Frankfurt. At the moment we offer the variety Royal Dawn and next week the varieties Bing and Rainier will start to arrive. Bing is a dark cherry, a common variety for Southern Europe. Rainier is more in demand in Eastern European markets and is a very strong white cherry with a red flush."
Last week prices were about 40 to 50 Euro/5 kg. and that is already decreasing at the moment. One notices, that as soon as supply increases a little prices decrease. During the last three day less was already sold and therefore we now adjust our way of working. It is of course only fly-trade and therefore has a good price. Many have the product for a short while just to be in 'the picture', a kind of service article. During the last few years there is a decrease in buying in Southern Europe
The consumer is no longer prepared to pay the price. There is hardly any 'summer fruit' on the shelves as well now."
"In Eastern Europe the story is quite different. One notices that less and less traders venture into this 'dangerous' trade. Every year there are fewer suppliers. One has to have a clear selling area, otherwise it will not work. When packing cherries Purfresh is being used. As a result the cherries remain beautiful and are fresh for longer. The product needs to continue breathing. This clearly works well. The cherries remain at a first class quality. However, they should be gone from the shelves within a few days."
Marcel still expects good sales in the Netherlands for the coming week. "Export will last a little longer. What also is doing well at the moment are Brazilian melons. Production is smaller and increasing prices are the result. Many traders have large programs and receive good prices already, but in the free market prices for Cantaloupe are still about four Euros higher. Therefore it is more advantageous sometimes not to be hampered by programs."
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