Despite the current exceptional global situation with its -partial- lockdowns, the domestic top fruit market seems to be able to get away without too much damage. "People are eating more sensibly, buying our local apples and sales are good. Moreover, the price margins we are achieving are gratifying at all stages of the value chain. We are currently blessed to sometimes even be able to say 'no'," Heino Umlandt (r), Managing Director of the fruit wholesaler of the same name in the Altes Land says when summarizing the current market situation.
The fruit wholesaler is witnessing a lively exchange between the various growing regions in Germany. "We are shifting a lot of goods to the eastern German states because the yields have been somewhat lower there this year. There is also a lively exchange with the southern German region. This means that we deliver red Boskops to the south, and in return we get varieties that are suited for us."
High and stable prices, great stocks
The Umlandt family business mainly provides food retail packers with regional apples. "We mainly sell traditional apple varieties, rarely having anything to do with club apples. The standard products are generally met with good responses: At the start of the season, our only fear was that there would be a prolonged deadlock on the markets due to large quantities of fruit available. Fortunately, this did not turn out to be the case," says Umlandt, when looking back at the start of the season.
In general, the regional stocks of the apple varieties commonly available on the market are quite nice and it is assumed that the company will be able to deliver into the summer. Even under the current market conditions, sales are quite satisfactory. "We have only had one problematic week this far. Apart from this single week, our company's sales were quite good and stable throughout the autumn."
Regional suppliers are increasingly moving closer together, not just because of the current pandemic, but focusing on the long term as well. "People are exchanging ideas, especially since foreign suppliers are aggressively pushing into our markets. This cohesion is particularly important in times of Corona, he says. "It's good to get conversations started in this awkward situation, exchanging views on how best to deal with the conditions and restrictions. This exchange has not taken place in the industry for many years. I would describe it as very positive."
At the company's location in Freiburg/Elbe, measures regarding hygiene, face covers, disinfectants etc. have been put into practice. Furthermore, truck drivers were offered training on ways to deal with the situation.
Good second half of the season expected
All in all, the management of the Umlandt company is quite confident about the future. "In general, I hope that the curve of Corona infections will soon flatten and trend downwards. For our industry in particular, I forecast a good second half of the season. The first inquiries have already been made by traders. If things don't change too drastically, we will continue to be able to sell our apples at great and reasonable prices."
For more information:
Umlandt Obstgrosshandel GmbH
Tel: 04779 212 oder 1209
Fax: 04779 446