Daniel Larsson, Hebe Frukt & Grönsaker AB:

"Despite the war, Ukraine has the best Royal Gala apples on the Swedish market"

Royal Gala apples from the Ukraine are selling really well in Sweden. According to Daniel Larsson, Hebe Frukt & Grönsaker AB, the Swedish importer and distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables, “Despite the war, Ukraine has the best Royal Gala apples on the Swedish market"

“We are one of the first in Scandinavia to import apples from Ukraine. Our trade with Ukraine started in 2017, because of a lack of produce from Italy and Spain. We started to be creative to search for alternatives. We had a contact in Ukraine. We went to Kyiv and had meetings with the government and growers. We were happy with what we saw in the orchards. One month afterwards we started imports to Sweden with one truck. Since then we have one to two trucks of apples per week delivered now,” says Larsson.

He compliments the work Ukrainian growers put into their orchards., while they are also very competitively priced he says. “They have many orchards of Royal Gala, while Ukraine has the best climate for this variety. They have cold nights, warm days, it makes the taste so good and the appearance too. The pricing level from the Ukraine is lower than Spain and Italy, but still higher than Poland.”

The apple boxes in Sweden are branded with the Ukrainian flag. While this helps to garner support from end consumers, retailers and wholesalers, Larsson says the quality and pricing is what stands out more for them.

“We see that some supermarkets used it for commercial advertising to support Ukraine and the people living there. During the current war situation there are lot of people from Ukraine living in Sweden. The quality of the apples is the most important, it also comes at attractive prices. But, it does not make a bad thing to support Ukraine as the whole Europe stands behind them. We found during these five to six years to have established a good relationship with growers in the Ukraine. Even if there was no war, they have the best apples on the market when it comes to royal gala. They are also good with red and golden delicious. They have some varieties that doesn’t work in Sweden," explains Larsson. 

Vegetables prices 'sky high' in Sweden
“Vegetable prices are sky high, especially from Spain for romaine lettuce and capsicum. It is a bit of a struggle to get good sales in supermarkets. There are big problems to get produce from Spain. There is a big shortage of volumes. Fruit is not as big a problem. The citrus volumes are smooth from Spain, Egypt and Morocco. Apples and banana and grapes are also not a problem,” he concludes.

For more information:
Daniel Larsson
Hebe Frukt & Grönsaker AB
Tel: +46 (0) 31-780 27 00
Email: Daniel.larsson@hebe.se  

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