In the top fruit trade, quality differences can be seen reflected in prices more and more. “Take Jonagold for example, the sales of good apples are going well, but as soon as something’s wrong with them, prices drop,” says Erik Kieftenburg of Fruit Noordholland. “Good prices are paid for good Elstar of the first harvest. Sales are generally not disappointing, but the weather of the past days results in far fewer sales, because people stay in.”
“This week, we’ll reach the end of the Doyenné du Comice season. These pears became very sensitive to mechanical sorting damages at the last moment, so we’ve been manually sorting them in recent weeks. Sales went fairly well, but pricing fell a bit behind this season. That’s also the case for Conference, for that matter, although I still think prices of good Conference will increase a bit near the end of the season,” the trader continues.
But all that glitters is not gold. “Quite a few pears have defects, such as coloured pears, small sizes or pears that are too soft. In North Holland we’re fortunate they were hardly affected by the dry weather last summer, because we have plenty of fresh water available. This is a bigger problem elsewhere in the Netherlands.”