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Germany: Poor season for apples

In the German district of St. Wendel many manufacturers of apple juice remain closed, according to several industry organisations. Reason is the poor apple harvest. "The trees are empty," says Willi Gregorius, chairman of one of the unions, Oberlinxweiler.

It's difficult to say what went wrong. "It's hard to determine," says Michael Keller, active in the region. "Bad years like this just happen. Maybe the frost in the South had something to do with it. Low temperatures means fewer bees." Apart from St. Wendel, it's Neunkirchen and Homburg that were hit most. 

In Grügelborn the disappointment is big. "The union has a new pressing machine and is dying to try it," Keller smiles, "but it's not likely to happen."

Will Gregorius is trying to get local growers to join forces, but isn't holding his breath. "It's way too much trouble to turn on the machines for such a small amount. With all the cleaning, it's just not worth it." 

That is why the different unions have decided not to open up the fruit presses this year. "We are still trying to coordinate things," says one of the managers, "but we are not getting our hopes up."

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