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Organic apples from Lebanon will be available soon

Lebanese organic apple growers and exporters are gearing up for this year's campaign. According to Rudolph Elias, CEO of Agreen Organics, the campaign is shaping up to be satisfactory, and both quality and demand will be on the rendezvous.

"We already have a variety available in June. It's a rare green variety that's not much in demand, known locally as mufti. For the most popular varieties, the calendars start in mid-July for the gala, mid-September for goldens and double reds, as well as other varieties depending on the region. The southern regions of Lebanon will open the ball and the campaign will end with the harvest of the northern part of the country."

Production conditions have been "excellent" this year, assures Elias, which has allayed growers' earlier worries. He explains, "We were apprehensive about the impact of the climate disruptions affecting the whole world. In the end, however, we had good cold weather and optimal climatic and phytosanitary conditions for organic apples. Some regions experienced days of hail, and there was some damage in these specific areas. In general, Lebanese apples are of very good quality this season, especially in regions that didn't experience a hailstorm and from growers who have protective equipment."

Demand for Lebanese apples promises to be high, adds the exporter, "Our traditional markets such as Iraq and Egypt are maintaining their level of demand. In addition to these countries, we have managed to secure openings in a number of Asian markets as well as in the Gulf countries, thanks to intense efforts and visits by growers and exporters delegations throughout the year. We will continue to build on this momentum to establish openings in Europe, and as such, we will be meeting importers at Fruit Attraction in Spain."

Lebanese growers and exporters are joining together to make organic apples more attractive on the world market, adds Elias, "a reorganization is underway to centralize management, customer matching, and aid to growers. The aim of this reorganization is to eliminate one step in the purchasing process, by removing 1 middle man from the commercial chain. This centralization will make it possible to achieve more attractive prices for growers as well as importers of Lebanese apples."

"Export calendars will begin as soon as the harvest, and this export mode is the most common," adds the exporter, "There will also be volumes stored in cold warehouses, which will be available until March. We also invested in solar-powered refrigerated warehouses to enable lower export prices."

All these production and storage factors will result in a " quite wide price spectrum " for organic Lebanese apples, generally classified in the premium segment. Elias concludes, "Prices will depend on specs and varieties and the time of the campaign. The best prices will be for shipments exported at the very time of harvest. Also, the lower production in the regions impacted by the hail will have an impact on prices, which will be slightly higher than usual."

For more information:
Rudolph Elias
Agreen SAL
Tel: +961 9 211411