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"Spanish stone fruit kicks off peak season at Belgian wholesalers"

Last month was a good one for Belgian wholesaler Sebrechts Groenten en Fruit. Citrus and grapes dominated for several months, but now that the switch to the summer season is being made, consumers seem to be increasingly opting for alternatives. "People are tired of winter produce, so when everything becomes available in mid-May, the changeover to the summer season officially gets underway," says Ellen Sebrechts of Sebrechts Groenten en Fruit.

"The best time of year for us" is how she describes the run-up to summer. "Spring wasn't as good as expected for many, especially this year. Sunny weather remains an outright trigger for sales. That's something we see every year. Surely, we can use that to keep going well."

For the Antwerp-based family wholesaler, this time of year also heralds the start of the peak season. "That keeps up until late June. After that, it's sometimes somewhat up and down due to August vacations and construction leave," Ellen explains, "but from the end of April, people seize the opportunity and bring out their barbecues."

"In mid-May, Belgian fruits and vegetables like beans, greenhouse vegetables, and all the soft fruit come in large numbers from growers. Consumers are also more likely to choose Belgian products. Even if they're twice as pricey. For the products we have available, local is becoming increasingly popular," Ellen adds.

Stone fruit replaces grapes and citrus
That is not true for all products, though, she says: "Local is very popular here in Belgium, but at the end of the day, people always look forward to the summer season for the imported summer fruit as well. Mid-May is French and Spanish cherry, stone fruit, and melon time. These are always eagerly awaited, and this year, they're all of excellent quality, too. It hasn't been hot yet in France and Spain, so the fruit could grow optimally. Also, although slightly later this year, kiwis arrive around this time. It's a true period of transition."

"In the winter, citrus and grapes dominated, but people no longer consider those new or surprising. Thus, in April, everyone is waiting for something new that has yet to arrive. Then, a huge switch happens in May when everything's available at once. It's also when we go public with this. The new fruit's there. There are choices aplenty, and the quality is nice."

For more information:
Ellen Sebrechts
Sebrechts Groenten & Fruit
Kielsbroek 4
2020 Antwerpen, Belgiƫ
+32 32374192
[email protected]