Fred Jacobs, KCB:

'Not the greatest quality strawberries and top fruit'

Greenhouse strawberries' growth conditions have not been the best lately. As a result, their quality is under slight pressure. In the past week, fruit with growth defects and head-splitting have regularly been found. Only tiny splittings are allowed in Class I. In Class II the split is allowed to be slightly larger. This, on the condition that the split is dry and well suberized.

Since the strawberries' quality is poorer, growers have been harvesting the fruit while it is still on the pink side. This has resulted in strawberries with white spots over more than ten percent of their surface being incorrectly packed as Class I.

The quality of Dutch apples and those from other Western European countries are also on the poor side. Multiple defects were picked up last week. These include softness, bitter pit, scalding, internal breakdown, lenticel breakdown, and lenticel blotch pit.

The pears are of somewhat better quality but are, unfortunately, not optimal. Their quality varies greatly from variety to variety. Conference pears' quality is the poorest while varieties such as Beurré A. Lucas, Gieser Wildeman, and Beurré Hardy are still quite good. There are fewer external defects in the Conference.

Instead, the problems are hidden in the inside of these fruits. Many batches have turned yellow to a greater or lesser extent. Brown core is present, here and there, in these batches. It, therefore, does no harm to regularly check the internal quality of these top fruits by cutting them open.

Source: KCB

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