Jeroen Geladé, Mac Queen Fruit

“Conference pear exports to the UK under pressure”

“We cannot really complain about the current apple market. Sales are running smoothly, and things look considerably better than last year," says Jeroen Geladé of the Belgian company, Mac Queen Fruit. “Pear exports are, however, under pressure at the moment. Sales contracts have, unfortunately, not resulted in the prices growers would have liked."

Mac Queen Fruit was founded in 1987 by Jeroen's father. “We are a true family business. We started out of the Mac Queen nightclub in (the Belgian city of) Borgloon. My father started cultivating fruit on a small scale. But we have since grown into a company with 80 hectares of apples and pears. The share of these fruits is 50/50. We cultivate mainly Jonagold apples and Conference pears”, says Jeroen.

Export to the UK
“We market our apples mostly on the domestic market. We sell them under our own label - Mac Queen Fruit. Our pears mainly go to England. Which is why we are BRC certified,” continues Geladé.

“All our exports go through wholesalers and exporters. They do the marketing. We do the sorting and storage. The United Kingdom is currently not self-sufficient when it comes to pears. However, if they reach an unsatisfactory Brexit deal, they will certainly invest in their fruit cultivation."

Fire Blight
Last year, Fire Blight hit about nine hectares of Mac Queen Fruit's apple orchards. The company, therefore, had to burn down a large part of their plantation. "Since then, we have planted new trees in the burnt-out area."

"We have planted the Gala variety for the first time. To be entirely independent, we decided not to plant any club varieties. This makes us considerably more flexible. But we do have less sales certainty," explains the grower/trader.

Sorting, packing, and storing
Mac Queen Fruit not only sorts, packs, and markets their own fruit. They also pack and store fruit for third parties. "We have the capacity to refrigerate seven million kg of Conference pears."

"We have also bought a new Aweta sorting line. It has water filling. With this investment, we are trying to keep growing. We are trying to keep up with the market," concludes Jeroen.

For more information:
Jeroen Geladé
Mac Queen Fruit
61 Dekken Street
3800 Sint-Truiden, BE
Tel: +32 (0) 113 148 00

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