Indian pomegranate arils are making their way to Europe again and the demand is high, according to one Indian supplier. The pandemic made things challenging for a while, but as passenger flights open up again, it is expected that things will mostly return to normal.
The season for Indian pomegranate arils is looking quite positive, Abhijeet Sethiya, managing director for Santosh Exports states: “In India, it is the start to a new crop for pomegranates. The fruits are of wonderful quality, we’re really happy about it. There should be uninterrupted pomegranate aril supply year-round in India now. As Santosh, we are growing when it comes to volumes, which is great as the demand in Europe has been excellent.”
Over the past years Santosh Exports has invested in new machinery, both in general as to deal with the coronavirus: “We’re always adding to our machinery and technology at Santosh Exports. Recently, due to the situation, sanitation machines have been installed to prevent any risks in in regards to the coronavirus. At the same time, our techniques and machines for the main aril business are always improving.” Sethiya explains.
Transporting produce in India has been difficult for a long time, and is still facing challenges on an international level, Sethiya says. “Due to the Covid situation in India, it has been tough. The lockdown was strict and followed. Now that it has been opened, all activities have been resumed. They will soon be back to normal. Air freights have been a major concern from India. The costs have been very high. Therefore, it’s simply not viable for every importer at the moment. However, resumption of commercial flights would get business back to normal, so it’s our hope the passenger flights will start increasing shortly.”
Currently the number of Covid cases is rising again. Sethiya feels they’ll still be able to work, but does confirm the fear for the virus in the country: “The rising number of cases in India does worry me a little, but the fear amounts to more than just the cases. At the ground level, people still are facing fear. Though, with all safety measures in place, we are functioning normally. Our volumes have been low, but that’s about the extent of the impact we’re feeling at the moment. However, people’s lives will also be back to normal, looking at how countries are opening up the lockdowns and each one of us taking precautions for our safety.”
Sethiya is also quite excited on one of their new products, which they have launched recently: “We have also started a new product. Fresh coconut chunks! It is gaining a huge demand in the European countries. It is supplied ready to eat.” He concludes.