The new season for the Dutch Xenia pear is almost ready to start once again. "Given the weather conditions we have had, we are satisfied with how the harvest looks. We expect to market approximately 8.5 million kilos of conventional and 550 tonnes of organic Xenia pears exclusively this year," says Raymond van Ojen.
Last year, the Xenia acreage was expanded again by 25 hectares and, according to him, that growth is in line with the past four years. "This year the harvest will be about 700 tonnes higher than last year."
"The weather conditions have been challenging. Our growers in the middle of the country who had the option of using irrigation to combat night frost had to do that for seven to ten nights. That was right during the flowering period, so it is always a tense wait to see how the pears come out but fortunately we have beautiful full crops. In the spring there was also some local hail, but the damage for our growers was not too bad. In addition, the Xenia pear is very resistant to the heat of the past weeks, so we expect a good quality harvest,” says Raymond.
The picking advice is to start harvesting the Xenia pears in mid-September, after which they go into the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks for a better taste experience, before they are available for sale. As a club variety, the seasonal prices of the Xenia pears were already determined a few weeks ago and they remain the same for everyone. "Usually the price is slightly above the market at the start of the season, due to the large supply of pears that is available. Last season the price for Conference was even above the Xenia in March / April, we nevertheless continue to use the same price!"
This year, the focus of the sale of the Xenia pear is on southern European countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal. "We are not yet very well represented there, but thanks to the sweet taste and the long shelf life of the pear we do see many opportunities!"