All QTee® pears have now been sold. Kris Wouters of Fruithandel Wouters, in Belgium, tallies up the season. "We had a good season. We got a slightly better price than last year and certainly a better average price. The Class I pears are always quite easy to sell."
"We'd sold them all by mid-October and had to disappoint a few clients again. Class II is always a different story. Fortunately, we had less of these than last year. So, most growers' average payout price will be better. We're generally very pleased."
“The QTee® sold well in Switzerland, Slovakia, and Spain too. France had its first real production this year. Farmers there will plant a lot of trees next year. Although we're positive about the sales, it takes a lot of work to achieve the desired results," Wouters says.
"A variety like Conference is usually sorted into one or two different packages and sold. There's a lot more involved at QTee®. One size goes to Asia, the other to the Middle East. And every European retailer also has its own packaging requirements. It's all slightly more difficult than a standard variety."
From next year, new trees will be added in Belgium. "Next year, 50.000 trees will be available for planting. That equals 25 to 30 hectares. There are also discussions going on in the Netherlands to plant QTee®," continues Kris. The first trees have been planted in Australia. And Finnish growers will plant the first trees there too in the spring.
"To our great relief, the corona crisis hasn't affected the QTee® very negatively. We could load many containers, and at their destination, everything went smoothly. Hopefully, it will stay that way because there are still quite a few containers on the way. Containers were a lot more expensive than last year. But I'm not sure whether that has something to do with the crisis."
“We didn't have many issues during harvesting and sorting, either. We were concerned about that, but everything went well. I don't really know of any fruit companies that have had major problems. As a sector, we can be pleased about that," concludes Wouters.