"I have been active in the top fruit sector for some years now. However, I cannot remember having experienced it go so badly," sighs Floor van Os. He is from the cultivation and wholesale company of the same from the Dutch areas of Benschop/Papendrecht.
"The pear market, in particular, is in a poor state of affairs. This is also true for the apple market. But we knew that we would have to sell a huge European harvest. Some countries, such as Poland, still have massive stocks. There is also only decent prices for those products of reasonable quality."
"Last summer's extreme weather had a huge influence on the fruit. The tops of pear tree were often over 40 degrees Celsius. This could still be overlooked in the first picking week. However, pears picked later were simply of lesser quality. The non-irrigated plots, in particular, had a hard time," says Floor.
"Fortunately, as a company, we are well on schedule. This is because we cleared out full containers right from the start of the harvest. We did not know the situation would become this dramatic."
When asked what could still lead to an upturn in the market, the fruit dealer answered, "I consider this to only be possible for pears that hold up well right to the end. But, the question is whether this is possible. Confidence in pears is gone, and the market is very diseased. The pear season can no longer be saved. It is a year to be quickly forgotten. Now, it is simply a matter of picking yourself up and starting anew. You must prepare yourself for the new harvest."
"Luckily each year stands on its own. The new harvest looks very promising too. The coming weekend's frost is causing some tension again. In Betuwe, for example, they have started irrigating again. As soon as the mercury falls below zero, things become interesting."
Floor does expect much competition from imported top fruit. "Try exporting to Europe as an overseas producer. I can imagine how growers are scratching their heads, looking for alternative markets," he concludes.
For more information:
Firma J.C. van Os
3405 BB Benschop, NL