“With Ramadan approaching, demand for dates is considerable. A lot of dates are eaten during the first week of the Ramadan in particular. After the second week, sales to wholesalers drop. They don’t want to be stuck with too many dates. The supply of dates from South Africa is currently very good. Good sizes are available and quality is great. At the start of the South African season it was more difficult, but good volumes are now available. Some of the old harvest is still available as well, but these dates are naturally poorer quality. Yet we’re still seeing demand for the old harvest,” says Laurent La Morella of Lorre.
Dates that were just harvested, left; Laurent La Morella, right.
Prices of dates are at a similar level as last year, and these are normal for the time of year. Although dates are the best product around this time, apricots, figs and walnuts also do well. “We have Turkish apricots in our range throughout the year. Demand is fairly stable year-round, although it drops as it gets warmer. The increase of temperatures is also reflected in demand for nuts and seeds. During the summer months, demand for seeds to use in salads increases. Pumpkin seeds are a good example of that,” Laurent says.
The nets protect the fruit against insects, birds and wild animals, left; machine to harvest the fruit from tall trees, right.
“We’ll soon have plenty of Hass avocados and Kent mangoes in our assortment again. We’re seeing an increasing demand for these exotics. Avocados and mangoes have now been completely integrated in our daily diets. Demand for limes is currently very good as well, despite high prices. However, we’re awaiting good weather for a lot of products, when people feel like summery products again,” Laurent concludes.