"I suspect there will be a lot of small cherries. Meanwhile, I have been to have a look at various growers. The cherries are hanging thick on the trees. There are many 26ers this year," says Peter Visser. Pieter is a wholesaler from Krimpen aan den IJssel in the Netherlands.
He supplies the total fruit and vegetable package to wholesalers and the market. Pieter has, however, made cherries a genuine specialty. "We are well-known in the larger area for cherries. My clients want good, tasty, large cherries. They do not mind paying somewhat more for them. I must, of course, not break that trust."
"This year, I bought a batch of Spanish cherries again. But, I stopped immediately. We noticed that people are more critical of Spanish cherries. Our clients prefer the larger sizes. Then you also stay out of the competition with the Belgian and Spanish traders," explains Pieter.
"However, there are a lot of small cherries this year. This means the large cherries will maintain good prices. We have now received the first Burlat cherries grown without cover. These are still a little larger than those grown undercover."
"The greenhouse cherry supply is starting slowly. Growing cherries in greenhouses is increasing but it is happening very gradually. It is a big investment too. Outdoor cultivation has, however, expanded greatly in recent years," he continues.
"At the moment, good Merchant greenhouse cherries are being auctioned for around EUR2 per box. But a lot of cherries are still being sold on the way. Certainly, if it is good weather on public holidays, sales go through the roof."
How the season will continue depends greatly on the weather, according to Pieter. "If there are a few more very windy days, the Burlat cherries will be gone. Undercover Burlat cherries go limp quickly. This is not the case in a normal orchard," says Visser.
"We also do not limit ourselves to certain varieties. The weather and soil are determining factors every year. We sell from Burlat and Merchant varieties to Kordia, Regina, and Schneiders. What I like myself, I want to sell." During cherry season, Visser is busy with cherries just about every day and night.
"Unfortunately, we actually have too small a workforce to go full-steam ahead. We want to do well with the Dutch cherries, at least," Pieter concludes.
For more information:
Groenten en Fruithandel P en G. Visser
4 Van Polanenweg
2924 LT Krimpen a/d IJssel, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 180 512 767
Fax: + 31 (0) 180 551 178