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Fred Jacobs, KCB:

“The Dutch soft fruit season is gradually gathering steam again”

Various commercial establishments are once again showing off Dutch greenhouse strawberries. Showing off? Yes, because the quality of by far most of the Class I supply is excellent. The beautifully shining strawberries aren’t just coloured nicely, the uniformity of the colour also stands out. Firmness is good and pressure points are only limited. Strawberries have to be intact, but growers sometimes packed too many fruits with little cracks. This has to be prevented, because such fruit has a very short shelf life, and can quickly start decaying.

Raspberries are available again as well, albeit in small volumes. The quality of Class I batches is excellent. I couldn’t find any faults. However, growers who supply Class II should make sure the fruits don’t miss too many kernels, so that the original shape can’t be recognised anymore.

The same quality as with raspberries can also be seen in blackberries, Right at the start of the season, the growers of this excellent product have placed the bar high. I came across wonderfully uniform batches in the trade. The blackberries are very shiny, so they look very good.

Top fruit
In top fruit, the KCB regularly has to reject batches that haven’t been designated properly. The link from grower to sorting and packing station in particular leaves something to be desired. Growers are obligated to provide their storage crates / cubic crates with all necessary designations. This means, among other things, that when the fruits, or vegetables, are sorted elsewhere, the grower’s name and the country of origin should at least be written on the crate. If that isn’t the case, buyers or sorters face unnecessary rejections, resulting in unpleasant consequences.

Final column
Well, this was my final column. For about 30 years, I enjoyed writing these Market Flashes. I first spent my time as a foreign correspondent writing about the ups and downs of fruit and vegetables in foreign sales channels. In recent years, I wrote about the quality of fruit in the Netherlands. I hope I was able to provide you with useful information, and that this was to your benefit. I might be quitting, but I’ll pass on the baton to my successor in the KCB, Hayo Andreae. I wish you all the best and a lot of success.

Source: KCB

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