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European club varieties not affected by frost

The overall supply of hard fruit has plunged dramatically this season. Apple harvests dropped 9%, pears as much as 22%. A noticeable exception are the apple crops in several Eastern European countries. Poland, largest apple producer in Europe, even saw a 12% increase. Hungary experienced a considerable surge of 39%, while the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia had an increase of 16%, 18% and 8% respectively. But how did the club varieties do?

As it turns out, not that bad. The Kanzi for instance, will be available as usual, according to Urs Luder of Greenstar Kanzi Europe. He is adamant that in spite of frost damage, there will be a yield of at least 15,000 tons. In Europe, Luder even anticipates a 20% surplus. The grower thinks his good fortune is due to increased production and the expansion of several orchards. Mid October, he announces, the campaign will commence as planned.

Boudewijn van der Wal of the Zaltbommel Auction also believes the frost damage could have been worse. “It has had an influence on the Elstar and Jonagold supply, but our Inova varieties, the Wellant, Rubens and Junami, have done quite well.”

Bert Wildschut of The Greenery is slightly less optimistic about the Rubens: “For now, we anticipate a 12,000 ton turnover, whereas the Junami harvest will likely be around 17,000 tons.” Numbers from Eastern Europe don’t faze him. “Poland has produced some remarkable results, but the market this year is a different one. Processed food is more important this season. Also, Poland tends to focus on other Eastern European countries like Russia and the Ukraine. I wouldn’t be surprised if those places are flooded with Polish apples this season. The last couple of seasons, by the way, have taught us not to panic: WAPA has been wrong before.” 

Michel Schrijnemaekers of Fruit Auction Zuid-Limburg is equally sceptical about WAPA predictions. “We have seen in the past that these numbers are not always reliable. They tend to be low.” Although his company has had some frost damage, Michel is positive about his Junami crop. “It’s a really nice apple, and could be the successor of the Jonagold if things go well.”

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