While certain fresh products were "hoarded" at the beginning of the crisis, this was not the case for apple and pear sales. "We didn't feel the crisis much in the sense that almost normal quantities have been traded so far," says Heinz Schacht (right), owner of Johannes Schacht Fruchtgroßhandel LLC based in Jork.
The loss of the catering trade was also noticeable at Schacht's wholesale market stand in Hamburg. "Instead, sales have shifted mainly to the outpatient trade, i.e. the food retail trade and the weekly markets. All in all, the whole thing has almost balanced itself out." Now they are preparing for the reopening of the gastronomy, which is to take place soon. "The worst seems to have passed."
Particularly in the apple and pear sector, the impact of the crisis has been limited so far. Schacht: "Just as in other product areas, there was a little more pressure on the food retailer, because we were sometimes unable to transport the goods there as quickly as we would have liked. In some cases, logistics were faced with massive challenges.
High prices, low stocks
According to the specialist wholesaler, these exceptional conditions have had only a limited impact on the pome fruit market. "The price level for apples this year is slightly higher than last year. However, this is not due to the crisis, but to lower stocks. Currently, commercial varieties such as Elstar are between 1.10-1.20 Euro/kg. Club varieties, on the other hand, seem to benefit slightly less from the situation in terms of price. Kanzi, for example, is now being traded around 1.80 Euro/kg. Last year the situation was exactly the opposite: we had ample stocks and much lower prices. This meant that old and new apples could be traded simultaneously in some cases. This year, the old harvest will have long since disappeared at the beginning of the new season".
Domestic, preferably regional apples from the surrounding Alte Land have always been the core competence of the company. Recently, there has also been post-frost in the plants there. "Whether and to what extent the late frost has affected the apples, we can only determine in July. By then we will be able to assess the fruit set accordingly." This also applies to pears that blossom before the apple blossoms. At the moment it seems that the pears have not suffered from the frost. On the other hand, there will be obvious losses for the domestic cherries, especially the early varieties."
Strawberries: Small gap in the market
At present, strawberries are also the main focus of the Schacht company. "At the moment the transition to the domestic open field is taking place. Goods from protected cultivation are now rapidly diminishing, domestic open-grown goods will only be fully available on the market from next week. A small supply gap and corresponding price increases cannot therefore be ruled out."
For more information:
Johannes Schacht Fruchthandels-Gesellschaft mbH
Telefon: 04162 484
Telefax: 04162 8476
Großmarkt Hamburg: 040 338639