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Gerhard Dichgans

Italy: Apple market will find new balance when harvesting is over

It seems that expectations for the 2014/15 campaign are less compromised than what was first thought because of the Russian ban. Gherard Dichgans, director of the VOG Consortium, told FrehsPlaza that "I can see the first positive signs after the shock of the Russian ban, the prices have already touched the lowest point."

Low prices were in fact transferred to consumers to push sales. The increase in consumption and sales will help finish the stocked produce quickly. "Once harvesting is over and all apples are stocked, I should think the volumes in late December and January 2015 will be similar to the ones of the past few years."

Gerhard Dichgans, director of the VOG consortium.

This is probably also because the capacity of warehouses has not changed and "all exceeding goods will be sold or shipped to the processing industry. This means that, at the beginning of 2015, we will have excellent quality fruit with a long shelf-life."

"I believe that the negative period for the Gala variety, which is very important for us, is over. We have already de-stocked over 40% of this variety and from now on prices will start from a different basis."

As regards the club varieties, "prices were such that those of the Kanzi and Jazz varieties also changed. Pink Lady will be available from November 6th, and pre-orders show that it will be a good start. The weather here in Alto Adige, with 5°C at night and sunny days, has favoured the appearance and quality of fruit."

As regards the fact that Poland will have over half a million tons of produce available, the director comments that "of course the Russian ban still has a devastating psychological effect, but I believe that these apples will only partially enter our traditional markets and will instead be directed towards Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. We need to remember that their varieties do not appeal to the Western market no matter the price."

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