Organic top fruit sales are not going too badly. This is according to Robert Elshof of Elshof Organic Fruit. This Dutch company sells organic pears that they grow themselves. They also sell top fruit from 13 other organic farms. "I expected slightly higher prices over the whole line," Robert says.
"But I am optimistic for the second half of the season. Italy has considerably fewer organic pears. This will become apparent on the market soon. I also expect organic apple sales to go better in the second half of the season."
"Sales are not bad, but they are not wild, either. Buyers started cautiously this year. Perhaps they were still feeling the effects of last year's situation. On the other hand, a gradual increase in price is better," Robert continues.
"This benefits continuity more than prices suddenly increasing all at once. There is a broad demand for organic pears. Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and Germany are our largest clients. This year, our pears have more issues with rough skins. This is due to the wet spring we had."
"The pears, therefore, look less smooth. Despite this, they have excellent internal quality, shelf-life, and firmness. We are getting hardly any complaints from clients," explains Elshof.
Elshof is currently entirely focused on the organic Xenia pear variety. "This pear is a relatively unknown variety in the organic sector. People are, however, very enthusiastic about it. It is a high-production variety, which makes it attractive for growers."
"It is also a pear that looks and tastes good. We will have a considerable volume of these pears at our disposal in the coming years. We are, therefore, spending a lot of energy on this pear. We want to bring it to people's attention," he says.
Left, Robert; Right, organic Xenia pears.
"It is still too early to guarantee the pear's availability until the end of the season. This variety debuted on the organic market last year. But, at that time, all the pear varieties had problems with storage. That is much better this year."
"However, we do not yet know if we can store the Xenia for as long as the Conference. That would be great. We have noticed that clients are less willing to wait long for imported organic pears. These come from Argentina and Chile. They are looking for good local alternatives," Robert concludes.