The marketing of Turkish Hicaz pomegranates continues at full speed. "The produce is abundant, demand is normal. Around Christmas, similar to other years, there has been an increase in demand, after the turn of the year, marketing is rather quiet, but still satisfactory," says Bünyamin Hamurcu of Alem Ltd, based at the Stuttgart wholesale market.
He also said that pomegranates are currently seeing an increase in price. "However, an additional price of 0.10-0.20 euros per kg compared to last year is still quite manageable compared to many other items," Hamurcu states. According to current information from his suppliers, Turkish pomegranates are still available in stores until the end of February.
Quality problems characterize quince market
Parallel to the pomegranates, quinces of Turkish origin are also traded at the stand of Alem. Although the quince is comparatively a secondary item, it has been able to establish itself well in recent years, says Hamurcu. "We are observing an abundant supply of goods for quince, but in recent weeks the quality of the goods is increasingly declining, which in turn leads to a higher reject rate and discounts. Accordingly, we expect that the season will soon come to an end."
In general, the direct importer is facing difficult conditions in terms of fruit logistics. In particular, the extended transit times are making fruit imports from Turkey extremely difficult. "We have to be happy if our trucks are only at the Turkish-Bulgarian border for one day. Alternative routes, such as via Greece, are considerably more expensive on the bottom line. It is also important to remember that certain items from Turkey, such as TOVs, are not infrequently significantly cheaper compared to other origins. In order to continue to offer goods at affordable prices, imports from Turkey are particularly important. In my view, importation and transportation should thus be made easier rather than more difficult, so that everyone can continue to afford reasonably priced fruits and vegetables."
Declining walk-in customers, delivery increases
For 20 years now, Alem Ltd has been dedicated to the local supply of specialty retailers, owner-operated supermarkets as well as restaurateurs in the Stuttgart area. "There are general fears about the future, because we don't know how things will continue with the high energy prices, for example. In the longer term, we see that the classic walk-in customers at the wholesale market are continuing to decline in favor of delivery."
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