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"Area under persimmon cultivation has been significantly reduced in recent years"

Traditionally, Spanish seasonal products, citrus fruits and fruit vegetables in particular, but also persimmons, will come to the fore around the cold season. "There is still sufficient supply of fruit vegetables: But if it gets colder in Spain, too, there could be a noticeable shortage of supply, especially since winter production in northwestern Europe has also been discontinued in many places for cost reasons," says Roberto Tur (r), Spain specialist and managing director of FRESH FRUIT ALLIANCE, based in Friedrichshafen, describing the current market conditions.

As a direct importer, Tur supplies numerous buyers in the food retail and wholesale sectors with both organic and conventional products from Spanish cultivation. "Organic was in vogue during Corona, but since the start of the Ukraine crisis, organic retailers have nevertheless suffered sales losses of up to 30 percent, while discounters have been able to generate more organic sales."

Meanwhile, retailers are trying to push down prices in times of rising inflation and buying restraint, he said. "The supply of goods is increasingly given a higher priority! Here, food retailers would have to communicate more with importers and producers."

In the area of fruit vegetables, sales have still been okay since the start of the season in Almería, but Tur nevertheless faces extreme supply fluctuations. "Regarding cucumbers, for example, the first wave of harvests is now over, which is why there is a noticeable supply gap. As far as organic cucumbers go, there have been significant surpluses in week 44-45, which could hardly be marketed. We are now seeing a similar situation with organic TOVs."

Downward trend for Spanish persimmons
Meanwhile, Tur is also concerned with the marketing of Spanish persimmons, particularly the commercial Rojo Brillante variety. "The persimmon hype that existed until a few years ago is over for now, in my opinion. Retail programs can be fulfilled, but in wholesale the product has lost its market share. This is also reflected as far as cultivation goes, as the persimmon acreage has been reduced considerably in recent years."

Within German food retail, persimmons are still mainly offered in 1kg packaging. As a rule, persimmons are in season from October to February.

Compared to other European countries, persimmons tend to be less accessed within German retail, Tur continues. "Consumers in other countries, whether it is the UK, Scandinavia or Belgium, are generally willing to spend a little more on the fruit. Persimmons are more of a luxury item in that respect, which is what people are most likely to do without now in these times of cost increases. Toward Christmas, I don't expect sales rates to rise too much either, as many are also going abroad."

Despite the low level of competition, Tur said persimmons should not be expected to see a revival in the coming years either. "True, there are interfaces with Israeli Sharon fruits, which are similar to persimmons, and Italian persimmons are nicely represented here in southern Germany as well. However, competition is not the problem, but the fact that persimmon consumption in Germany is generally on the decline. In this respect, I believe there will continue to be small reductions in acreages at the source in the coming years."

For more information:
Roberto Tur
Wilhelmstraße 6
88045 Friedrichshafen
Tel.: +49 7541 39798-0     

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