The heavy storm period in Greece definitely did some damage in a couple of areas, but the grapes survived it all for the most part. In fact, according to one exporter the season looks very promising. Which means that despite the extreme weather, there will be a great commercial window between October and January.
A couple of weeks ago Greece was dealing with heavy storms, causing major damages all around. Although some of the fruits in the country indeed endured losses, it appears the grapes were not affected as much: “Luckily recent harsh weather condition in Greece didn't affect the region where Zeus grapes are grown. Generally speaking many of the grapes growing areas around Greece weren't heavily affected. Damages were mostly reported in an isolated area with hail or wind storms,” Antonis Ioannidis, agronomist of Zeus, explains. “Zeus is looking forward to another promising grapes season. Volume-wise we expect to exceed 2000 tons of Crimson Seedless grapes during a commercial window of October until December. We expect to market more than 90% of the production.”
The vineyards of Zeus also have protection against rains. “Almost 60 per cent of Zeus’ grapes production comes from rain protected fields, by using plastic covers. Under this cover, vines can handle autumn rains and on top of that it give us the ability to have freshly picked fruit at later stages of the campaign. In that sense a good percentage of our annual grapes production is secured, even during unfavorable weather conditions. It gives us the advantage of being stable in the market over the years while at the same time building confidence of our customers at Zeus.”
Protecting the crops from bad weather is vital for any exporting company, says Ioannidis. Not being able to supply your clients gives opportunities to competition: “Bad weather can always change market conditions in favor or against competition. There are different sources for grapes across Europe, and not only during the window of Zeus. Our aim is always to secure as much as possible of our production and be able to supply our customers fully. Policy of the company is to deal with fruit that the company has total control over it (from early stages up until picking and export). This means we don't outsource fruit that was not produced under our supervision. Being in a position to guarantee the quality of our products in every aspect is very important to us.”
It’s safe to say the grapes in Greece didn’t suffer all that much from the terrible weather conditions the country has had to endure. The same can’t be said for the entire kiwi production though. “The kiwi fruit did sustain hail damages in many different areas all over Greece. We’ve had some major damage in the regions of Macedonia (Naoussa, Arnissa, Pella). The estimated amount of the total damages is still to be determined. Authorities will provide more details about the percentages of damages per region in the next weeks.” Ioannidis concludes.