A switchover is currently taking place in the kiwi market. There are no yellow kiwis from New Zealand available. Trading companies are, therefore, switching over to the Italian product. The first green kiwis from France will be available at around 12 November.
Recent weather conditions have not been ideal for growing this fruit. The hot, dry weather made for a lot of small-sized kiwis. They weigh an average of 85 grams. This, while in a typical season, an average weight of 100 grams is achieved. Large sizes of French kiwis will be very scarce this season, even more so than last season.
“There are still enough kiwis from New Zealand on the market at the moment. The yellow kiwi season is, however, over. The green variety is still on the market until December. This will coincide a little with the French product, which will run through until the beginning of May", says Jan Vermeiren of Exofi Fresh Market.
“There are businesses that, in November, suddenly switch to the fresh products that have not been refrigerated at all. The average consumer often does not know that the kiwi lying in the store now, was harvested in April. It also does not occur to them that a kiwi from New Zealand has a large ecological footprint when it comes to sustainability", he says.
This Belgian trading company strives to work with French growers who farm as organically as possible. "French kiwi are not treated at all. This is in contrast to the Italian or New Zealand products. The kiwis from these countries are treated three times. At the moment, French kiwis are 50% organic. It is only the certification that is lacking."
"The entire area used for cultivating French kiwis is almost completely organic. In France, this fruit has no natural enemies. Clients with good product knowledge, therefore, prefer the French kiwi”, says the trader. About 40.000 tons of kiwis are produced annually in France.
China is the biggest kiwi producing country in the world. This country is followed by Italy, New Zealand, and then France. “China only produces for local consumption. They do, however, export the red variety. Other kiwi countries are also busy cultivating red kiwis", explains Jan.
"The only thing is, you cannot store the red variety of this fruit. These kiwis have a shelf life of about six to eight weeks. They also do not deviate from this. The red kiwi tastes the same as its yellow cousin. I do not see a future for this red variety. Yellow kiwis' share is still increasing. The issue is the fact that the yellow variety is a hybrid with all the problems that go with that", concludes the Belgian trader.
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