"We are witnessing a significant uptick in Mejhoul date production"

The harvest of the Moroccan Mejhoul dates has been ongoing for about a month now, and Oussama El Mir, Head of Operations and Business Development of Moroccan date exporter Medjool Star, expects a positive season:

“The 2023 date season at Medjool Star has gotten off to an excellent start. It started early in the year, around February, and has smoothly progressed through key phases including pollination, thinning, and the current ongoing harvest, which commenced in early September. Based on the first harvested fruits, which show excellent quality and taste, we are positive about the outcomes of this season.”

According to El Mir, the production of the Mejhoul dates is ramping up season after season, as the palm trees reach maturity. “As we enter our third production season, it's worth noting that our 55,000 palm trees have not yet reached their peak maturity levels. Despite this, we are already witnessing a significant uptick in production compared to the previous year. In 2022, our yield amounted to approximately 700 tons. This year, we are poised for a substantial increase, with expectations ranging an impressive 1,500 tons of Mejhoul dates.”

“In the wider context of Morocco's date industry, there exists a compelling vision for sustained growth. Morocco is committed to a substantial increase in its annual Mejhoul date production, with ambitious targets spanning from 20,000 to 25,000 tons in the forthcoming years. We pride ourselves to be the locomotive of that vision, both in the Moroccan and international markets. Over the past season, Medjool Star represented the large majority of the Moroccan exports of Mejhoul dates. With the ongoing growth of our palm trees to reach their full maturity, and an annual production level of approximately 6,500 tons, our mission is to pave the path of the expansion of the Moroccan Mejhoul dates on the international stage.”

One of the goals for Medjool Star is to increase the awareness of the Moroccan dates, El Mir explains. “In the current landscape of the Mejhoul date market, the Moroccan origin is still relatively unknown. However, with the commercial efforts put in place since the past two seasons, we’ve witnessed strong demand, surpassing the production capacity in historic markets, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. Despite strong competition from the different other Mejhoul origins, we remain committed to providing top-quality Mejhoul dates, while ensuring our prices remain competitive.”

Despite the strong competition in the Mejhoul date market, El Mir feels the Moroccan origin has more than enough to offer: “What sets us apart from our competition is the distinctive quality of our Moroccan Mejhoul dates. Our dates are reddish-brown with a sweet taste and a caramelized aftertaste, thanks to our precise moisture levels between 22% and 25%. This ensures a juicy, soft, and exceptionally sweet fruit. This quality is also reflected by the certifications we hold like Global G.A.P., GRASP, BRC, SMETA, and 100% Without Residues (CCPB), reflecting our commitment to sustainability, responsible labor practices, and the highest food safety standards.”

El Mir emphasizes that Medjool Star has made several investments to increase the quality of their operations: “As a fully integrated actor, managing the entire value chain from production to export, we have invested in technology throughout the different steps. On the farm side, we developed a unique QR code system for each of our 55,000 palm trees, allowing us to meticulously track cultivation and optimize yield and quality. On the packing house, we’ve invested in the latest drying and calibration technologies, allowing us to perfectly respond to our clients’ specifications.”

“Additionally, we put significant emphasis into our brands and packaging, from Medjool Star, our eponymous brand, to Oum Tomoor, and particularly into our latest brand by the name of “It’s a Date”, a luxurious culinary experience, incorporating the highest quality Mejhoul dates, as well as sumptuous derivatives such as Mejhoul Date Syrup and Mejhoul Date Paste.”

Thankfully, the earthquake in Morocco did not disrupt the operations of Medjool Star, but the exporter is involved in relief efforts to help the people affected by the destruction and loss: “Given the recent catastrophic earthquake, we want to express our heartfelt condolences on behalf of the entire Medjool Star team to the families who tragically lost their loved ones in this devastating event. Our thoughts and hearts are with the people of the Al Haouz region as they face these challenging times. As a part of the Saham Group, we have been actively involved in relief efforts, offering essential assistance, first aid, and vital supplies to those affected through the Saham Foundation. Although our operations have not experienced significant disruptions due to this tragic event, our commitment to aiding our fellow Moroccans remains resolute.”

“For our upcoming exhibitions, Medjool Star is excited to announce our presence at several prominent events. We will be exhibiting at Anuga 2023 in Cologne this October 7th to 10th, where you can find us at Hall 11.3, Stand 37. Additionally, mark your calendars for our participation in Fruit Logistica in February 2024 in Berlin and Gulfood in February 2024 in Dubai. We look forward to these opportunities to showcase our products and connect with industry professionals,” El Mir concludes.

For more information:
Oussama El Mir
Medjool Star
Tel: +212 655 26 76 32
Email: oussama.elmir@medjoolstar.com

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