“We are satisfied with the course of the hard fruit season up to this stage. Since the acquisition of D&G Fruit by Vergro 17 months ago, the sale of apples and pears has risen considerably, ”says Geert Schoofs of Vergro. “The demand for Conference pears is good, both for class 1 and class 2. Our main markets for pears are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and the Eastern European countries. Although the average price for Conference pears is better than the previous year, there is certainly still enough room for improvement. If all sales systems communicated better, the price would be a lot better. "
Geert Schoofs (left) and David Bambs (right)
“With regards to the apples we are currently only seeing a demand for good quality and larger sizes. This year it will be harder to sell the smaller apple. Nevertheless, I see a favourable evolution in the market for good quality product.
I have been pleading for more than 20 years over the fact that too many, poor quality product is been put into the fridges and that this has a negative effect on the price of the better quality apples. Also this year, I am afraid that there is a large percentage of apples in the fridge that do not meet the quality standards. " Geert emphasizes .
The Evelina apples
For Vergro, the most important market for apples is, Belgium and India. “We are mainly on the Belgian market with Jonagold-like and Red Prince-like apples. In India we started with Evelina and Gala. Due to the sanctions that has been introduced by Donald Trump, the import tax of the American apples is 70% and for European 50%. This has given us more room to enter the Indian market. However, sound quality plays a very important role on the Indian market. The Indian consumer, is a very conscious consumer who likes a sweet red apple, such as the Evelina, " notes Schoofs.
"In addition to the Evelina that Vergro is a marketer of in Belgium, we also have the Red Modoc. We have an exclusivity contract with Lidl international, which is buying the Red Modoc this year. Last year we had around 70 tonnes of Red Modoc pears and this year we have already achieved between 200/ 220 tonnes. We are planting a considerable amount and I hope we can go up to 4,000 tons within the next five years. The Red Modoc is still gaining more popularity with every year and it is a pear that can certainly succeed in the future. Since the 11th of November, the pear has been in the Belgian branches of the Lidl, until the stock runs out. We expect that to be in the first week of January." Geert concludes.
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