For the time being, the Chilean season is progressing while facing many difficulties, according to Robbert Leisink from Fruit Cleaning Service in Venlo. "Throughout the different regions in Chile, the growers are struggling with labour shortages, which are causing a huge delay in the entire process from picking to shipping."
"Add to that the fact that the current covid wave has caused the crews of some boats to become infected and the containers had to be reloaded. Containers with a 1 to 2 week delay are absolutely no exception at all. On top of that, it was way too warm in Chile during the December month (36C°+) to be able to speak of an ideal harvest situation and on top of that, they had to deal with an enormous amount of rain at the beginning of this month," says Robbert.
"All these factors together mean that the average Chilean quality at the moment is not perfect. It is very difficult to plan anything for customers, as every container is being opened with “crossed fingers”. These are therefore very busy days at Fruit Cleaning Service, as the telephone never stops ringing. Every day, we receive Chilean fruit from all over Europe to process for the industry. There is no limit to our volume capacity, so everyone is more than welcome."
"As for the continuation of this Chilean season, we are very curious about what is in store for us. Last week was the peak export week in Chile and the sector says it wants to make the transition to Morocco and southern Europe as soon as possible around week 7/8. From a quality point of view, this decision is understandable but it does not help the Chilean growers. Therefore, we will be available until the very last moment of the Chilean season to do our absolute best in processing fruit that is less suitable for class 1."