Christian Vogelsang from ExPa-Frucht Ltd:

“Low availability in Italy will drive up demand for Greek kiwifruit”

In week 43, Ottobrunn-based ExPa-Frucht Ltd will start the new Greek kiwi season. From week 44, the import company expects the first larger volumes of Hayward kiwifruit from Greece. “We expect an average harvest volume and relatively less small-sized fruit (caliber 36/42), which are usually well received mainly in the discount sector. Larger produce (caliber 23-30), which mainly goes to regular grocery chains, is expected to be available to us in abundant quantities this year,” say Christian Vogelsang, buyer and seller at the company.

 Hayward kiwifruit is mainly are sourced from Greece.

In the leading overseas countries of origin, Chile and New Zealand, the export season has already ended. The major kiwi growing countries in the northern hemisphere, Spain and especially Italy, are now gradually starting the season. Vogelsang: “Italy is reportedly low on fruit, which is why we are seeing high demand for Greek kiwifruit at the start of the season. Price-wise, we have to expect renewed markups this year: For now, I expect a 25-30 percent increase compared to last year.”

The peak season for Greek kiwifruit continues to be concentrated mainly in the classic winter months – December, January and February. “Demand for Greek kiwifruit has tended to increase in recent years, due in part to weather problems and fungal infestations in Italy. In general, it can be said that Italy still sets the tone for yellow kiwifruit and Greece is now on a par in export volume for green kiwifruit,” Vogelsang continues.

Strawberry cultivation in Greece.

Greek strawberry season almost starting
Not just kiwifruit is now picking up seasonally; the start of the Greek strawberry and citrus season is also approaching. “From week 46, we expect the first strawberries. Due to the optimal dry weather, we expect good yields overall. What helps Greek growers are the modern irrigation systems with reservoirs and canal systems. This is a clear competitive advantage over Spain, where they are always struggling with the lack of water and the serious consequences in cultivation.” Larger shipments of naturally ripened citrus from Greek cultivation will in all likelihood occur at the end of November, Vogelsang expects.

More consumer acceptance for Greek pomegranates
Pomegranates of the commercial variety Wonderful have also been harvested for about a week. Vogelsang: “Tonnages have steadily increased in recent years. This year we are also starting the season with good forecasts. This is another area where we are clearly benefiting from the excellent on-site irrigation systems. We have also found a great product line with our pomegranate seeds. The seeds are processed at origin and then packaged and marketed in 80- or 150-gram lidded trays. We are finding that this product is gaining more and more consumer acceptance.”



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