This week, the Dutch company Tovano received the new crop of dried apricots from Turkey. "They're of excellent quality, but available volumes are limited," says Richard Strijbis. That decreased volume is partly due to the earthquake. "The growing area is right alongside that area, so the infrastructure has been affected, and suppliers lack staff. That makes for a difficult start."
"Everyone had hoped for a larger harvest so prices would drop, but those are quite robust again," Richard explains. The apricots are harvested between mid-July and mid-August. During the drying process, all the vitamins and minerals are retained in the flesh. Apricots are, for instance, rich in vitamins A, B, and C and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
Tovano mostly sells the largest sizes in 5kg display boxes. "Those can go straight into the store." Customers can order large and small sizes, and Tovano also supplies the apricots in pieces. According to Richard, the unsulphured version is becoming increasingly popular. "These are darker in color and very tasty. Those sales have risen considerably in recent years," he says.
Turkey is not allowed to export dried figs before October 6. "We, thus, start transporting them that day. There's high demand, and they're hard to find. I'm glad it's almost time for that season. Sadly, fig growers have far fewer kilos, too. That's unfortunate because that will also keep that product's price quite high."
Richard is not displeased with general market demand. "The vacations are over, and demand is good. We're getting many new crops again, and I love this time of year. It's exciting," Richard concludes.