Like most fruit, the Dutch cherries arrived on the market one or two weeks earlier than normal. "The season is in full swing. The next two, three weeks are the real cherry weeks. The prices in the market are current and I am positive about the next few weeks," says commercial director Leonard Kampschoer of Fruitmasters. The cherry area at Fruitmasters has grown gradually over the last few years. "We used to grow smaller cherries and with the arrival of varieties like Regina and Kordia we are able to grow gorgeous cherries of the 28+ sorting. This has lead to an improvement of the cherry sales."
The Dutch market is the main sales market for the cherries by far. The commercial director of Fruitmasters signals an increasing preference for the Dutch product among Dutch retailers. "The Dutch cherries are bought well, but the Dutch product is also continued for longer in apples. In the area of export there is quite a lot of interest for cherries from Scandinavia. There are more markets with potential, but the export has its limits. The further away, the earlier you have to pick."
The Fruitmasters' growers are given space within the rules of the cooperation to sell the cherries at home, but according to Leonard these sales shouldn't be underestimated. "A lot of foreign cherries have been sold over the last few weeks in the stalls. A lot of growers do home sales, but are very happy with the programmes agreed upon with retailers. The wholesale and detail trade still plays an important role in the cherry sales. The coarse cherries are especially popular among specialists at the clock sales."
Besides the sales in the loose boxes, the small packaging towards the supermarkets is also taking flight. "A positive development," Leonard believes. "We can process the cherries quickly with central sorting and small package them for the retailers. This provides added value."