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Hans Widmann about the move of Herbert Widmann LTd to Taufkirchen in week 1, baby kiwis and blueberries

"Soft fruit demand doubled in January"

In the first week of January, Herbert Widmann Ltd moved into its new premises at the freeway junction in Taufkirchen and is now located in the direct vicinity of the Feldbrach company and the Schmidt and MTG forwarding companies.

"Our own logistical fruit and vegetable competence center has been formed there," Managing Director Hans Widmann informs us. "The move was completed within one weekend. In the course of this, we have increased our total floor space by 30 percent, which is much more pleasant, not least for our employees. The move was definitely necessary."

Furthermore, Widmann spoke with us about the upcoming season for baby kiwifruit and blueberries.

50 percent more baby kiwis from Chile
Baby kiwifruit can be marketed by Herbert Widmann Ltd in calendar weeks 6 through 12. "We are expecting a 50 percent increase in harvest volume. Following the Chilean season, we could also offer New Zealand baby kiwifruit, but the right logistics are lacking for this," says Widmann. "The baby kiwifruit from Chile all come by air freight. Despite the higher air freight and other logistical costs, the prices for the baby kiwis can be maintained."

The fruit is sold exclusively to food retailers in Germany and Austria and marketed in 12 x 125 gram trays. "The weather played well into the hands of the baby kiwis, allowing the harvest to start a week early, while the blueberry season will finish much earlier. Shipments of Chilean blueberries are already stopping this week." 

Soft fruit demand doubled
"The fall was heavily influenced by Peruvian blueberries. We imported over 6,000 tons of blueberries from Peru last year. The import ratio is 40% Peru and 60% Chile since January. The Peruvian season will probably last a little longer."

Widmann was positively surprised compared to the unabated high berry sales. "It's amazing that we're currently selling double the amount of berries compared to weeks 51 and 52. Towards the end of the year, berry demand was a little more subdued, then in January it just exploded again." He suspects it may be related to higher health awareness.

Widmann also offers organic blueberries from Peru and Chile year-round. "Organic produce suffered a bit at the end of the year from the effects of the various crises. However, both product categories recovered from this in January and showed a parallel increase," Widmann sums up.

Regionality as added value
The issue of regionality also continues to be important in the marketing of blueberries, he says. "If you take the word 'regional' at its word, it shows that for Bavarian growers, for example, regionality also represents real added value. In Lower Saxony, on the other hand, where 80 percent of the local blueberries are grown, there are perceived to be more blueberry growers than consumers."

"Certainly, we absolutely must also protect our domestic growers from the north and promote national marketing if we do not want to lose blueberries from German production in the future," Widmann says.

For more information:
Hans Widmann
Herbert Widmann GmbH
Schäftlarnstr. 10
81371 München
Tel.: +49 89 76 44 18
Fax: +49 89 77 07 08

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