At Fruvo in the Netherlands, they've sold the last top fruit of the 2019/2020 season. The company cools, stores, packages, and sells apples and pears. These are from their own farm, Vogelaar Fruitcultures, and other growers. "We aim to have a break of about four weeks. We can do so because we're not bound to a single retailer that we supply with fruit year-round," says the company's general director, Martijn Vogelaar.
"It's always a gamble to sell pears in July or August. That's why, until now, it's always been our strategy to try and be done by the end of June." He reflects on a double-sided season. "Until January, the top fruit season was going so-so. Things were tight, and sales prices barely topped cost prices. After that, prices started climbing. The second half of the season turned out well."
Delcorf apples and Belle de Jumet pears
"We could say the coronavirus passed top fruit sales by. Italy dominated, but there was demand from everywhere. There was demand from across the board too. The Xenia's a pear variety with which we did particularly well. But, every variety actually sold well. The organic pears also did well, with regular sales. In hindsight, we perhaps sold the fruit for too little in the first half of the season. But, hindsight's 20/20."
Martijn's cautious about voicing his expectations for the new season. At Fruvo, that starts in August with Delcorf apples and Honey Belle pears."Things might turn out differently. I'm anxious to see what damage the dry weather will bring. The harvest will, in any event, be lower than average. That's especially true for apples, but also for pears. I don't dare link percentages to that yet. That's largely dependent on how many fruits fall off and how many grow," Martijn concludes.