The last phase of this year's European grape harvest has been announced. Now, all eyes are slowly turning to the products from overseas and, occasionally, Brazilian grapes are already being offered by German wholesalers. On the Cologne wholesale market area, traders are also preparing for the overseas season, but European fruits still determine the events. At the end of this season, the fruit quality and the demand were again satisfactory, says Mr. Gierlich, buyer and seller of Birkenheyer GmbH.
Red and seedless grapes
More than three weeks ago, the first arrivals from Brazil were welcomed by the German traders. ''For the overseas goods, however, there is still no demand, at least for us. As long as Italy and Greece are still on the market, customers prefer European goods. Among other things, the red Crimson and Scarlotta grape varieties are currently very much in demand," says Gierlich. This buyer/seller became a member of the Birkenheyer team just a few months ago, just in time for the start of the peak season for European grapes. Even now, at the end of the campaign, the quality of the fruit is satisfactory and prices are fairly stable.
Expiration of the overseas campaign
Apart from the Italia grapes, Greek grapes are being traded above all at the wholesale outlet of the trading company. In about 10 days, European grapes sales will definitively be over and Birkenheyer GmbH will switch to overseas goods. "We are starting the overseas campaign with Brazilian goods, including the Crimson Seedless variety. Then we will continue with goods from Peru, Chile, Zimbabwe and South Africa. That's usually the order of operations.''
In contrast to the grapes, citrus fruits are just starting come in from European growers. ''Our Spanish citrus campaign is just starting up. The first Spanish lemons are now entering the market and Valencia oranges will also start coming in gradually this week. The Spanish clementines are now almost all available: in this area, prices are almost similar to those of last year.''
Cologne Wholesale Market
Birkenheyer Fruchthandels GmbH is a long-established trading company at the Cologne Wholesale Market. The company trades in the full range of exotic fruits, as well as local fruits and vegetables. Its main customers are specialty stores and weekly marketers in the Greater Cologne area.