Erik Kieftenburg, Fruit Noordholland:

"Stabilisation in hard fruit market expected over the next month"

It's no surprise that the top fruit prices are at a low level. Yet Erik Kieftenburg of Fruit Noordholland from Zwaagdijk - part of M.J. Pronk - expects the market to stabilise over the next month. "We are in the situation that the cooling cells are too small and there aren't enough boxes at the moment. Product is being brought onto the market out of necessity. I expect that when the harvest is all done growers will no longer supply at any price."

Elstar rough
As far as quality is concerned, the fruit trader says the harvest is good. "The good summer has resulted in good hard fruit. The sugar level is fine and we have a very good coarse sorting of Doyenne du Comice and a reasonably coarse nice bronze Conference. The only downside is that the Elstar is a bit rough throughout the country. Rough apples taste the best, but the consumer generally prefers a smooth apple."

For Fruit Noordholland the sales to the domestic market are still the most important. Besides this, they also export to the United Kingdom and Germany. Erik says he hasn't noticed an over supply of Polish apples on the market. A number of growers in Noord-Holland have also opened their orchards to consumers over the last few weeks as alternative sales, but he expects this to be a one off. "It attracts a lot of people, but a lot of things in the orchards get broken and it's hardly doable with all those little scales as far as organisation is concerned."

Club varieties
When asked whether the Dutch top fruit export will limit itself to club varieties in the future, Erik replied: "There will always be space for the Elstar and Jonagold on the market. A well stored Elstar picked at the right time, is the best apple. Who am I to say that club varieties are better? We also supply club varieties with a lot of Kanzi, besides Rubens and Junami. This demand is growing, partially due to the many TV adverts."

For more information:
Erik Kieftenburg
Fruit Noordholland BV
Groothandelsmarkt 2
1681 NN Zwaagdijk

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