Netherlands: “Top fruit market has become global”

In spite of this year’s dramatic harvest, Herman van Rooyen of fruit company Frupaks in Deil, Holland, is very optimistic about the apple season. “With the possible exception of the Jonagold, I think we are in for a good run.” The Jonagold, he thinks, is in jeopardy of being overshadowed by Poland, Scandinavia and Russia.

Van Rooyen is fairly unimpressed with the disastrous harvest and the resulting price range, even in light of the global crisis. “In April the price of Conference pears skyrocketed, going from 40 cents to 1.40, and they sold like hotcakes. The recession doesn’t seem to affect top fruit, as far as I can tell.” The headway made by club varieties doesn’t faze him either. “Traditional varieties will always sell, I’m sure of that. Holland has its Elstar and Conference, Belgium the Jonagold and France the Golden. These are still the major players.”

Of much bigger impact is the fact that the top fruit market has become a global affair, claims Van Rooyen. “New Zealand is doing well these days. Exchange rates are in favour of that country and they know it.”

Frupaks only trades in fruit cultivated by its own people. “This means we are in control of the entire chain. With modern technology and cultivation methods we are able to deliver fruit in the best shape possible.”

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