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Mario de Goede, Dutoit Europe:

"Crownless pineapples fantastic solution to save space on air freight"

The current pineapple market is fairly good. "There isn't too much supply, and demand is reasonable. The second crop is now being harvested in Costa Rica, which is always slightly smaller. The smaller sizes are, thus, under more pressure. Prices for the larger sizes range from €11 to €12 on the free market, while the smaller sizes are selling for €8.50-€9," explains Mario de Goede of Dutoit Europe.

The number of pineapple market players has become more manageable in recent years. "There are fewer of those, fewer cowboys, too. But we can no longer sell the volumes on the free market that we used to." Mario anticipates a stable market in the coming weeks. "The Costa Rican melon season has started, so there's limited cargo space available. That often guarantees a good market. The market should be quite untroubled until Easter; after that, it's always a matter of wait and see," he says.

This week's introduction of crownless pineapples at the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is a development that Mario welcomes. "Those crowns are mainly aesthetically important, just like people prefer clementines with leaves. I think people can get used to pineapples without crowns. At my previous employer, we tried this ten years ago. Back then, buyers weren't ready for it, but now pressure from society has increased," says Mario.

"It's primarily of great advantage to offer crownless pineapples. We mostly use air freight, and the crowns account for about 25% of that volume. That's quite something, cost and carbon footprint-wise. Also, freight prices from Costa Rica are still high. While those from South American and Southern African countries have fallen, that's hardly been the case from Costa Rica. So, these are direct savings you can make."

"Another argument for introducing crownless pineapples is that the product can currently be rejected because of the crown, due to brown leaves or a fungus, which can also lead to claims. That's, of course, terribly wasteful because the crown serves no function. I'm not getting much demand for crownless pineapples from my customers, but if that rises, I'm in right away," Marion concludes.

For more information:
Mario de Goede
Dutoit Europe
Tel: +31 (0) 102 211 226
[email protected]

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