“This season was special for us as it was the first real crop from our Portuguese young fields. We were also able to start early with our Spanish volumes and finish early on the 12th of June. This was perfect to start with the Hungarian season afterwards. In general the quality of our stone fruit has been good. Even our Spanish production in Murcia didn’t suffer from the hail and frost, fortunately, and our brix level was higher compared to other early areas of Spain”, said Laurie Suhr from the Fairfruit Group.
Extending production calendar
Laurie explains that the company has stone fruit available from different origins to offer to their clients. “We have apricots, plums and cherries from Hungary in our assortment. Apricot, nectarine, peach, plum, and asparagus from Portugal. In order to have year-round activities in Portugal, we also have a partnership for olive oil. We have partnerships in Spain to supply apricots, nectarines and peaches. Also, we have apricots from Austria.”
“The main idea of having these partnerships is to extend the production calendar at its maximum, in order to supply demand from all the European markets open from mid-April to Mid-August. Hopefully, later during mid-September with new late varieties.” This means that all of these origins are complementary to each other, instead of competing markets. “For the moment we haven´t reached the demand limit of our clients in terms of volumes.”
Fairfruit exports to different European countries, such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the UK and Norway. “In Hungary and Portugal, we develop the national market more and more. As the demand in these national markets is rising.”
The company started in Switzerland (Valais region), when Mr. Pascal Felley learned about the business from his father, who was active in the production of apricot with the Luizet variety. “Having this stone fruit culture knowledge, Mr. Felley created, with some partners in Hungary, a production organization called “Gyümölcsért Kft” 2003. Nowadays, this organization has around 80 producers members and 2 packing houses for an estimated production of 4’000 tons of apricot for 2019.”
Laurie explains that in the meantime, a partnership was created with the Spanish breeder PSB Produccion Vegetal S.L and its stone fruits production company Frutas de la Sierra Espuna S.L. “This relation brought a range of early production in apricots, nectarines and peaches from end of April to Mid-June that would extend the production calendar with Hungary production after from June to Mid-August.”
“Being able to give the best varieties and stable supply during the whole stone fruit season to our clients, gave Mr. Felley the idea to establish Fairfruit Group as one single entity. After this, Fairfruit Portugal LDA was created in 2013 with nowadays more than 250 ha of stone fruit production in Alentejo. At the end of 2018, the first Fairfruit orchard in the North of Portugal will be used for plantation. The new packing house located in Beja will sort more than 5,000 tons of stone fruits in addition to other products like pomegranates and oranges in 2021.”
Very recently, Fairfruit Austria GmbH was established in 2017 with 30ha apricots planted by the end of this year.
Fairfruit will be present at the exhibition this year, bringing a representative of each subsidiary to represent her/his colleagues. “We have had our own stand in Madrid for 4 years. Every year, Fruit Attraction is the perfect time to meet our clients and partners to summarize the last stone fruit season. We discuss the necessary improvements and the objectives for the next season.”
“It’s also a good opportunity to meet potential clients and to create new business partnerships”, concludes Laurie. Fairfruit is present at the exhibition in Hall 5, stand C07A.