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Wilko van der Zwaard, Wilko Fruit:

"Exchange rate, air freight make Canadian cherries pricey, but our clients eagerly buy them"

The Canadian cherry season is coming to an end at Wilko Fruit in the Netherlands. "The warm weather means many cherry productions coincided this year. Canada usually lasts longer, but this year's weather cycle is entirely different, which affects many productions," Wilko van der Zwaard explains.

"The current exchange rate and this year's air freight costs make Canadian cherries an expensive affair. But our customers expect them in our assortment. Cherries are one of our biggest summer products. It's the first product my grandfather started in 1934, and today, my son Alejandro, who represents our fourth generation, handles the imported cherries. So, I say in all modesty; we specialize in this product."

"Dutch people prefer local cherries when they're in season, but our Canadian cherries sell well. We sell them to wholesalers, companies that package them for retailers, and higher-end restaurants. The Canadian season went very well, quality-wise. We work with the Staccato, Skeena, and Lapins varieties - robust, tasty cherries. When you have an expensive product, it's important that it's the very best. World Fresh, formerly Sutherland, is a reliable supplier too," says Wilco.

The Canadian cherries are selling for €60 to €65 per 5kg box. "Those are hefty prices, but still, they're selling well. That's also because it's our specialty. If there are good cherries available somewhere in the world, we offer them. When the Chilean season ends, we buy, for example, Tasmanian cherries."

"Those easily cost €22-€23/kg, but our buyers want them. The Dutch cherry season went well, too, but ended earlier. There are more and more later varieties coming into the Netherlands. Despite that, I expect Canadian cherries to maintain their market position," concludes Wilco.

For more information:
Wilko van der Zwaard
Wilkofruit b.v
14 Heilaar-Noordweg
4841 ZZ, Prinsenbeek, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 765 244 460
Email:   / 


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