“Joly Red also popular on local market”

Five years ago, Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg and BFV introduced the new apple, Joly Red. The red, sweet apple was supposed to appeal especially to Asian and Mediterranean consumers, but it turns out it’s also popular on the domestic market.

The originally Belgian apple variety is the result of the cross-breeding programme Jean Moors from Grote-Spouwen. The BFV (the Belgische Fruitveiling) and Veiling Zuid-Limburg both own the new variety. “Joly Red is the result of the search for a new distinctive apple that’s suitable for a broad audience. It’s a good addition to our apple assortment with its red colour and very sweet flavour,” says Ruud Lenssen from Veiling Zuid-Limburg. Growers can get the option of growing this apple via BFV or Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg. For both parties, the apple is exclusively marketed under the Joly Red brand.

The crunchy newcomer was originally intended for the Mediterranean and Asian countries, where consumers prefer the sweet flavour. It soon turned out that the Dutch and Belgian consumers also appreciate Joly Red’s sweet flavour, and the club variety was introduced on the local market as well.

“The younger generation in particular prefers a sweeter apple. Its low acidity makes Joly Red so sweet,” Ruud says. The good storability of the apple is also remarkable, with a firmness of 7kg/cm3, and an average brix of 14º. “We offer the option of having the apple treated with an organic wax, which is favourable to both Joly Red’s shelf life and especially its presentation. The dark-red skin, which is almost purple in combination with the organic wax, is truly distinctive on the apple shelves.”

Critical about growth
Joly Red is grown in the Netherlands and Belgium. The area currently consists of about 100 hectares. Ruud says new trees are planted every year. “We’re quite critical regarding volume growth. Our most important starting point is returns for our growers. Joly Red is not a major variety. However, we have noticed interest to also grow the apple on the Southern Hemisphere. Although there aren’t any concrete plans yet, and plenty of expansion opportunities still exist in Europe, we’re keeping the pot boiling.” Ruud says Joly Red is an easy-to-grow variety, and that it does well in our climate. The large-fruited variety colours easily, and has a good and even productivity. The picking time is about the same as for Jonagold. Right now there are still options to expand Joly Red’s area. Growers who are interested in planting Joly Red or who would like more information regarding the Joly Red apple, can contact Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg.

Despite the fact that more Joly Red was planted, yields are slightly lower than last year because of the frost. Irrigation isn’t possible in the production areas, which affected volumes. “We expect we won’t have enough supply to meet all demand. Normally we can supply Joly Red until May, but we’ll probably finish earlier this season. Apples are shipped to Asia again as well. Joly Red is beloved in Vietnam, India and Singapore in particular.” He also says West Africa and the Middle and Far East could be possible new sales markets. “What the future holds for Joly Red? As said before, we’re quite critical regarding growth, which makes it difficult to say anything about future production volumes, but we’re definitely convinced Joly Red has potential.”

More information:
Veiling Zuid-Limburg
Ruud Lenssen

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