One hundred years of producing premium fruit

The third and fourth generations of the Belexport family celebrate 100 years of fruit production and 28 years of exports.
Fri 23/09/2022 by Pierre Escodo
Members of the Derwael family, from left to right, above: Jos, Hendrik Gaston, and Tony Derwael; and below: Louis, Kevin, Simon (Wouters), Dieter and William

Starting out in 1922 producing fruit in the province of Borgloon, the Derwael family now has five members of its fourth generation and three members of its third generation in the Belexport team.

“Our objective is to raise quality and create more value for our fruit,” said commercial manager Tony Derwael. “My dream is to create a label of origin for the Conference pears of our province, which have a truly distinct taste.”

Pioneers in zero-residue pears

A few years ago, Belexport became the first producer to supply Carrefour with zero-residue pears, a programme that has expanded every season since.

“One hundred percent of the pears we sell to Carrefour Belgium and France between September and March are zero residue,” said Derwael.

Optimal cherry season

After the disastrous 2021 campaign, when two-thirds of the crop was lost to torrential rains in July, Belexport expects an excellent summer season this year. Samba, Korvick, Kordia, Regina and Sweetheart are the main varieties of cherries the firm produces between June 20 and July 20. Full apple and pear crops are also forecasted. Nonetheless, apples face certain market difficulties due to the record crop of 13 million tons in Europe last season and the significant volume of stocks still remaining.

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