Pieter de Ruiter, 4Fruit Company:

"Kakis must compete with overseas mangoes"

Anecoop has taken over the Valencian cooperative, Coagri. Anecoop is also a Spanish cooperative. It now has about 23,000 more tons of Spanish kakis that it has to market. "We have plenty of kakis to sell this year," says Pieter de Ruiter of 4Fruit Company. This company is the exclusive distributor of these kakis in the Netherlands. They sell them under the Bouquet label.

This Dutch fruit and vegetable trader expect kakis are also still a product with enough growth potential. 4Fruit Company sells 70 or 80% of their kakis to companies in the Netherlands. "A nice volume has gone out in recent weeks. Some clients bought one pallet a week last year. These same clients now take one and a half or two pallets."

"I see the kaki as a product that should compete with the mango. The kaki can still become better known. This fruit does, however, have an advantage. Kakis come from Spain for only a few months of the year. Mangos, on the other hand, must travel from the other side of the world. I expect this will play a role in more people choosing kakis," says Pieter.

"In Valencia, kaki cultivation has replaced older citrus varieties in recent years. These older varieties include the Satsuma and Clauselina. The biggest switchover is, however, over. You also see that the Sharon fruit has lost out against the persimmon or kaki. I think there are still many sales opportunities for this product group. Kiwis were also an exotic fruit 30 years ago. You have to start somewhere," continues the trader.

"Kaki production in Spain has been very good this year. The weather was great. September's massive storms had very little effect on the kakis. Prices are not too high yet either. We ask just under €1 per kg. That, therefore, does not have to be a problem. The kakis quality is also excellent and can only improve."

Pieter does not deny that there are sometimes differences in quality between the kakis. "After harvesting, the kakis must still ripen for a few days. Ripening is, however, a skill. Fortunately, at Anecoop, they have this under control."

Citrus and greenhouse vegetables
It is the start of the season in Spain. Other products in that country have their own challenges. "The difference in Spanish day and night temperatures mean the citrus there does not want to color. That means 20-30% less supply. This shortage is, however, not being reflected much in the prices yet." 

The Spanish greenhouse vegetable season is also slowly getting underway. "There are still plenty of Dutch products on the market. These do not cost as much. The quality of these Dutch vegetables is good too. I had hoped most of our clients would have switched this week already. But I am afraid we will have to look to next week," concludes Pieter.

For more information:
Pieter de Ruiter
4 Fruit Company
30 Handelsweg
2988 DB Ridderkerk, NL
Tel.: +31 (0) 180 641 902

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