The Dutch Xenai pear sales season ended earlier than expected, in late April. Xenia Europa's sales manager Raymond van Ojen reflects on a good sales season. "The harvest was similar to last year. Scandinavia and the German-speaking countries have always been our biggest markets, but this season we made new sales in Sweden and Morocco, too. With sales of about 300 tons to both countries, we made a nice start. Xenia is a relatively new variety, which, undoubtedly, must be introduced and accepted first," he says.
After the pear market's dip in December, pear prices shot up from March. But not Xenia's; their sales prices are already set in August. "In our final calculation, we, thus, ended at a similar level to last year, with the large sizes coming in a little higher and the smaller ones a little lower. Perhaps growers' expectations were slightly different this year."
"From March, Conference pears were sold unsorted for a kilogram price of a euro or more, a good development for growers who still had product. But with Xenia, we work with pre-determined seasonal prices. We believe in this strategy and strive to be a stable marketing partner for our growers with prices we can achieve, year after year," explains Raymond.
"We should grow again this coming season. Settings have gone quite well, despite the Xenia blooming a bit earlier than, say, the Conference."
"However, the young Xenia trees' settings are still lagging somewhat. That's due to the many flowers and the cold spring. We expect to harvest 1.5 million kilos more Xenia pears in the Netherlands next season," says Van Ojen.
"That will bring the total to 13 million kgs. From a European perspective, next season's pear crop doesn't seem to be larger because especially southern European countries don't have a full harvest. That offers sales opportunities, which we'll happily capitalize on with Xenia."
This season, the organic Xenia variety harvest reached 600 tons. "The sales season went reasonably well," Raymond continues, "also because Germany's organic Xenia crop was smaller than expected. Though prices were a fraction lower than last year, we still realized nice payout prices for organic pears."
"It's striking that with organic consumers, the organic label outweighs the variety. We sell both bio-Xenia and bio-Conference pears. Four years ago, that was 300 tons collectively; now we're tapping 1.5 million kilograms with both varieties, so proportionally, that's solid growth," concludes Raymond.