Martin Egger, Tobi Seeobst AG, on the current soft fruit season:

"Due to weaker holiday season demand, it becomes challenging to place all goods on the market"

This year, the Swiss can harvest plenty of  berries, Martin Egger (r), product specialist at the Thurgau-based trading company Tobi Seeobst AG, tells us. "Due to the weather, a very good harvest is expected in the entire berry sector. After two years of pandemic, many Swiss will again spend their summer vacations abroad this year. Accordingly, I expect demand to be a bit weaker during this period and it will be a challenge to place all the goods on the market."

Blueberries and packaged raspberries

Harvest started very early this year. "Several growers have already told me they have never been able to harvest so much produce this time of year." Despite good supplies and rising production costs, prices have been cost-covering to satisfactory so far.

Fresh strawberries

Swiss bush berries on the rise
Both the cultivation and consumption of Swiss berries have seen rapid growth in recent years, Egger observes. "Swiss berries are obviously trending, and more volume is being placed each year. Strawberries have remained more or less constant in recent years, but I see interesting growth potential regarding berries, especially blueberries. What also plays into this is the strong focus of the leading retail chains on Swiss fruit, as well as the border protection that applies to the entire shrub berry range - except for blueberries and gooseberries."

Currants and blackberries increasing popular

Blueberries as well as currants are predominantly cultivated in eastern Switzerland in terms of volume, while strawberries and raspberries grow and thrive throughout Switzerland, Egger continues. Thanks to the minimal presence of imported goods and the annually growing volume, Swiss soft fruit can now be marketed into October, he adds. There are no major differences in the acceptance of goods between the leading food retail chains, he adds. Egger says, "Everyone is striving to offer domestic produce as long as possible, exquisitely sourced from the region and in appropriate, environmentally friendly packaging."

Blackberries ripe for picking

Backlog demand for organic berries
For 14 years now, Tobi Seeobst AG has been supplying Switzerland-wide food retailers with conventional as well as organic fruit from domestic cultivation from its location in Egnach. "The latter is still a marginal product in the berry category, although organic blueberries and strawberries are already well established," Egger concludes.

Domestically-grown raspberries

Pictures: Sonnenhof Berries / M.Müller

For more information:
Martin Egger
Betriebsleiter Egnach / Verkauf Beeren
Tobi Seeobst AG
Tel. +41 71 474 70 21   

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