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Wim van der Schoot, De Groot International:

"25% less Chinese pomelos to the EU this year"

Honey pomelos from China are available at De Groot International once again this season. These pomelos, originating from the region Pinghe, are available from September until mid January. "Eastern Europe is traditionally the main sales market for pomelos. But we are also increasing the amount of product in our programmes each year," says Wim van der Schoot.

This year, however, the volumes being sent to the EU will be 25% lower than last season. "The total output in China is up to 10% lower compared to last season. During our annual suppliers visit to China we noticed that there were a lot of 'split' pomelos in the plots due to the warm and dry weather conditions. This meant they were unsuitable for export. Only the best quality is selected to be exported under our own brand Don Mario," says Wim. "The prices on the local Chinese market are also getting better year by year. This has its effects on the available export volume. Suppliers are focusing a larger share of the harvest on the local market." 

The importer is working with set programmes more and more. "Due to our constant quality and supplies we are able to extend this with our customers each year. We consciously chose not to import the early pomelos from the Guangdong region, as they are a lot drier and contain more seeds than the Pinghe region. We have now had arrivals of the juicier pomelos from the Pinghe region for a number of weeks," continues Wim. "The pomelos are, of course, available under our own brand 'Don Mario' but also in neutral packaging if necessary." 

Whereas a number of MRL exceedances with Chinese pomelos caused strict checks a number of years ago, there are no problems this year. "Due to the intense collaboration with our suppliers and the efforts of the Chinese government we have the MRL under control. The suppliers we work with are well aware of all developments and demands. The pomelos are tested both in China and upon arrival in the Netherlands. This is the first year that the NVWA hasn't done checks on the imported containers of pomelos. Yet we chose to check our arrivals for MRLs as recommended by our quality department. These efforts are producing results. Last season and so far this season there hasn't been a single MRL exceedance found on our pomelos." 

For more information:
Wim van der Schoot
De Groot International
Tel: +31 (0)73-599 88 41
Fax: +31 (0)73-599 88 76
[email protected]