Fruto del Campo in Maasdijk, the European sales agency of San Francisco Lo Garces from Chile, kicked off the Chilean cherry season three weeks ago. "After a difficult first week, the cherries are currently being taken up well in the market," Michael Kouwenberg says. "In addition to the day trade, we got a number of European retailers interested in programmes with 'winter cherries'. Up until now, people were rather used to having cherries exclusively in the summer, but there is a clearly noticeable trend to extend the cherry season."
"Our mission, following the strong increase in soft fruit in previous years, is to achieve year-round availability with cherries as well. Fruto Del Campo is now able to supply cherries almost year-round to retail and day trade," Michael says. "In addition to the traditional 2.5 and 5 kg packagings, we now also offer various small packagings, such as 500 grammes, zip-lock bags and 200 or 250 gramme punnets. There is clear demand within retail for small packaging. The cherries fall into the 'high value products' category, something retail is currently looking for."
"We can package small, both in Chile and at our logistical partner LBP Maasdijk, and a prominent Dutch cherry grower we work together with," the trader goes on. "In addition to the cherries we market for Lo Garces, we're getting peaches and nectarines as well in January, followed shortly by apricots and plums. In the mid/late March period, we're expecting the first kiwis."