Prognosfruit 2021

To comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions, Prognosfruit 2021 will be taking place as an online conference on 5 August 2021. Registrations are now open and stakeholders and journalists are welcome to register via the Prognosfruit website.

Last year, the Prognosfruit 2020 organisers regretfully announced the cancellation of the event, scheduled to take place in Belgrade (Serbia), due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the success of last year’s online version of Prognosfruit and to comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions, Prognosfruit 2021 will also take place as an online conference, with Belgrade still scheduled to be the location of the first in-person edition of Prognosfruit when COVID-measures so allow. Registrations for Prognosfruit 2021 Online Conference are now open.

Since 1976, Prognosfruit has released the annual forecast of apple and pear production for the upcoming season. This year the resource booklet with the forecast of production for apples and pears will be released during the online Zoom conference, which will take place on 5 August 2021 from 09:30 to 12:45 CEST. The event will feature:

  • the forecast for apples and pears by WAPA Secretary General Philippe Binard;
  • EU apple and pear market outlook 2021 by Helwig Schwartau (AMI);
  • Other apple market perspectives: processing, organic and international;
  • two panel discussions, one for apples and one for pears.

The draft programme of Prognosfruit 2021 Online Conference and the online registration form to attend the conference are both available on the Prognosfruit website. Registrations will close on Friday 30 July 2021 at 12:00 CEST.

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Kashmir’s apple crop up 5%

Kashmir’s apple crop up 5%

 

Kashmir’s apple sector is expanding. The country’s 2019 apple crop is estimated at almost 2 million tons, according to data from the Department of Horticulture, published in The Kashmir Monitor. This represents an increase of 100,000 tons on the previous campaign.

Kashmir’s horticultural sector has recovered well from the devastating floods of 2014, when apple production was just 1.1 million tons. Director of Horticulture Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said the government incentives and the introduction of modern technology are the main reasons for achieving the feat: “Modern technology helped increase the production last year. Every piece of land now gives Rs 50,000 to 70,000 returns to a grower. This is motivating other people to take to apple farming. Motors, weeders and many machines are being provided to the growers at subsidised rates. We are even now providing subsidies to growers adopting high-density plantations.”

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First Italian apples to land in Vietnam 

First Italian apples to land in Vietnam 

 

After five years of negotiations, Italian cooperative VOG has announced the export of the first shipment of Italian-grown apples to Vietnam. The first shipment will consist of 8 tons of South-Tyrolean apples. The biggest hurdle to be overcome during negotiations was clarification of phytosanitary requirements. These matters have now been resolved following several site inspections conducted by the Asian plant protection authority. 

Director of VOG, Walter Pardatscher, said, “With this first delivery to Vietnam, not just our association but the entire national apple market has reached a major milestone. No apple has ever been shipped from Italy to Vietnam before. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Assomela, the representative of the interests of Italian apple producers, and hope that we can consolidate and continue our cooperation with Vietnam in the near future.”

VOG now intends to expand also into the markets of Taiwan and Thailand.

TAGS: VOG, apple, Italy, Vietnam

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Girona and New Zealand’s apple producers join forces

Girona and New Zealand’s apple producers join forces

 

Apple producers from Girona (Spain) were in New Zealand from Fevruary 23 to 29 as part of a joint project for the production of fruits in hot climates. The producers of the PGI Poma de Girona visited Hawke’s Bay, in the northeast of New Zealand, to learn about new techniques and new systems of apple production. The expedition consisted of 19 members -among producers, technicians and managers- of the three companies that produce and market the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Poma de Girona (Girona Fruits, de Bordils, Giropoma Costa Brava, de Ullà, and Frutícola Empordà , from Sant Pere Pescador).

Llorenç Frigola, president of Poma de Girona, said, “Every year we organise technical trips and this time we have chosen New Zealand because it is the cathedral of fruit growing, it is the most favourable place in the world and where there is more production per hectare, which can reach up to 150 tons.” One of the other reasons that led Girona growers to choose this destination is because with some of these New Zealand producers they are part of the hot weather hybridisation programme Hot Climate Breeding Programme (HCBP). It is a project for the production of apples in hot climates. The HCBP programme aims to improve apple flavour, texture, colour and adaptation to climate change, and one of the results are the first viable varieties emerging for production in hot weather.

For the president of Poma de Girona, New Zealand has a “very good soil condition, with a lot of organic, fertile matter and a very benign climate. There are practically no hailstorms or frosts and the winters are not cold, this allows the apple tree to have a very long development with a very short winter period with very good conditions. Its apple is very strong and has a lot of colour so that the ultraviolet rays are high.” According to Frigola, “It is clear that each area is different, but there are always actions to put into practice and techniques to experiment in our home. There, they produce a very red, thick and sweet apple that they export to Southeast Asia; Twenty years ago they had smaller, more acidic apples that they sent to the European market but now, they are self-sufficient.”

Another difference Frigola sees is in the market: “It is different because we store and serve apples for 12 months at supermarkets while they produce and make them during the six months they work each year.” Apple producing companies in New Zealand have a very important part of their production in exclusive club-type varieties that only they can produce, “they buy the production rights of these varieties. This trend is also beginning to be important among the companies of Poma de Girona.”

Girona producers’ visit to New Zealand comes after similar trips to Poland and the west coast of the United States in recent years.

 

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YELLO® apple lands in Australia

Credit: VOG

 

Having already conquered Japan and Europe, the Shinano Gold variety crosses new frontiers. The innovative yello® club apple produced in South Tyrol exclusively by the VOG and VIP consortiums, will roll out an extensive expansion programme. At Fruit Logistica, the VOG and VIP consortiums signed an agreement with Montague Australia for the cultivation of Shinano Gold. More detailed tests are also being launched in the United States and South Africa.

Attending this important moment were the president of the VOG Consortium, Georg Kössler, the president of VIP, Thomas Oberhofer, representatives of Montague Australia, Scott Montague and Rowan Little, and Gerhard Dichgans, responsible for the project. “The sub-license foresees, for the moment, the cultivation of twenty-five hectares, although there is the option to extend the surface up to fifty hectares,” said Georg Kössler, speaking on behalf of the two consortiums, VOG and VIP.

“In Australia, the tests carried out have yielded very positive results,” said Scott Montague, of the Montague company, based in the state of Victoria, Australia. “The territory in which we have planted the first apple trees has proven to be especially suitable for growing this premium variety. This is why we have stipulated the sub-license agreement with VOG and VIP: so in Australia we can also produce the first quantities of yello®”.

As part of the extension of a test contract agreed with Nagano Prefecture in Japan, more Shinano Gold apple trees will be planted in the United States and South Africa. The tests will be carried out in collaboration with Columbia Fruit Packers and McDougall & Sons, two companies of Wenatchee, in the state of Washington (United States of America) and Fruitways Farming, company of Elgin (South Africa), three historical partners of VI.P and VOG within the International Pomefruit Alliance (IPA).

“This new apple has all the potential to change the segment of yellow-skinned apples: with its slightly exotic and tropical aroma, its crispy and juicy pulp, it responds to the demands of the modern consumer,” underlines Gerhard Dichgans, who has perfected the contract on behalf of VIP and VOG. “We have already registered the yello® brand in more than sixty countries and as of this year we began to expand its borders in a very concrete way throughout the world.”

The variety, marketed under the yello® brand, is called Shinano Gold and was developed in Japan, thanks to a development programme of the Nagano Experimentation Centre, which crossed the Golden Delicious and the Senshu.

yello® has a full yellow skin, a firm texture and a sweet, crispy and juicy heart. It also distinguishes itself by offering excellent conservability and a remarkable qualitative record. It was first marketed in Italy in November 2016. Thanks to the agreement with Nagano Prefecture, the worldwide exclusive production and marketing license belongs to VOG, the Consortium of Fruit and Fruit Cooperatives of Südtirol, and VIP, the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers of Val Venosta.

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Are South Koreans losing appetite for apples?

South Korea’s per capita apple consumption increased to 11.4 kilograms in 2015 from 7.5 kg in 2005, driven by the abundant apple crop (582,846 MT) and a growing public perception of apples as a healthy and nutritional fruit. However, since 2015, apple consumption has gradually decreased to 9.2 kilograms per capita due to increased competition with other imported fruits. In fact, between 2005 and 2015, South Korea’s fruit imports increased by 49% to 720,000 tons, following new FTAs with major fruit exporting countries such as Chile, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. 

As the ratio of small family (single or two family member households) increased steadily in recent years, food consumption trend also changed toward demand for more convenient and smaller packages of healthy and nutritional food products.

South Korea exports very few of its apples as domestic apple prices are more attractive to apple growers and demand remains strong. Currently, South Korean phytosanitary regulations do not allow fresh apple imports.

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Recovery of EU apple prices this season

Recovery of EU apple prices this season

 

EU apple prices during the ongoing campaign are significantly above the average for the past five years, due to the small crop. According to Wapa/Prognosfruit data, this campaign’s crop is down 20% from the preceding year and 11% below the 5-year average.  Compared to the challenging 2018/19 campaign (excess of supply in some Member States, especially in Poland), 2019/20 has seen a great recovery in the sector. EU apple stocks on 1st December 2019 were at their lowest level since 2012.

Although the average EU apple price this campaign is well above five-year average, there are some divergences between Member States. Poland’s prices have seen the greatest recovery. French apple prices are above average but lower than the preceding campaign, as the French crop is actually larger this season. Meanwhile, German prices were slightly above average and Italian prices have recovered gradually from a difficult end to the previous marketing year.

For prices to remain high, EU internal demand will need to stay high. A mild winter could thwart this aim by dampening demand.

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The quality Apples from Europe promotion campaign continues in Dubai

The quality Apples from Europe promotion campaign continues in Dubai

Promotional campaign “Strength of taste, vitamins and colors. Meet the quality of Apples from Europe” is gaining its momentum. This is due, among others, to the WOP Dubai (World of Perishables), which was attended by representatives of the Association of Polish fruit and vegetable distributors ‘Unia Owocowa’ and the Union of Polish fruit growers. The event took place from the 12th to the 14th November at the Dubai World Trade Center.

At the almost 50 meters stand, financed by the European Union, apple producers and distributors had the opportunity to meet with contractors not only from the Emirates, but also the entire Gulf region.

The experts from the Association “Fruit Union” gave also three lectures at the conference held in the frame of the Fair about the objectives and main activities of the campaign, characteristics, production and logistics of European apples and the process certification of exported fruit.

Foreword by Ms. Katarzyna Rzeźniczek, First Counselor of the Polish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, gave the event greater prestige. Large audience – key importers and distributors of fruit, the most important representatives of the UAE media, as well as representatives of such important institutions as Dubai Municipality, – listened to every presentation with the great interest.

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World pear leader supplies optimum quality

World pear leader supplies optimum quality

BFV increases its portfolio of successful brands and supplies 120,000 tons of exceptionally high quality pears.

With 120,000 tons of pears, BFV represents more than a third of Belgium’s production. Its CEO, Filip Lowette, has confirmed the more acceptable price levels recorded this year compared with the 2018/2019 campaign, which was affected by heat and drought. The Sweet Sensation pear is the only variety registering a poorer season, with a 50% reduction in the harvested volumes. BFV enjoyed a good season, with a 40% increase in turnover during the last trimester of 2019 compared with 2018, thanks also to the more balanced EU crop, which totalled around 2.1 million tons. BFV increased its supply of organic fruit to 5,000 tons, with 245ha of certified orchards and more under conversion.

Belgica, Morgana & Joly Red rising stars

The Belgica variety propelled BFV once again to a successful start to the apple season, with 2,000 tons marketed at a good price, due to its splendid fruit quality, colour and taste. Introduced four years ago, Joly Red is the second youngest variety club. It appeals to consumers in the Middle East and Far East due to its attractive flavour (Envy and Fuji type), high levels of colour (80% red) and sugar (+15º brix). Morgana is the latest variety club, launched by BFV in 2019, and with 40ha planted so far in Belgium. Its superior eating qualities are positioning it in the higher segment of the apple market. Significant volumes will be offered from 2020 in partnership with Melinda in Italy, Krings Obstbau Vertriebs in Germany and Margraeten Fruitveiling in Holland. Jonagold and Jonagored are still the major apple varieties at BFV. The smaller calibres of this season make it more suitable for export markets like India and the UK.

BFV’s berry success story

The firm continues its strong growth in the berry and cherry category, with 3,000 tons of strawberries and 3,500 tons of cherries (+50%) marketed in 2019. The cherry season runs from mid-June until mid-August, with the main varieties being Kordia, Regina and Sweetheart. Every fruit is graded and hydro-cooled using Unitech technology. Strawberries are supplied for over 9 months from March, combining all growing systems of soil, covered and hydroponics.

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EU apple prices recover in 2019/20

EU apple prices recover in 2019/20

 

The 2019/20 EU apple crop which started on 1st August is expected to be a moderate one, according to Wapa/Prognosfruit data (-20% on preceding year and -11% below 5-year average). The smaller crop has driven prices upwards during the campaign, significantly higher than last year’s complicated one, when there was an excess of supply in some Member States, especially in Poland), and also well above the 5-year average, with some variation between countries. Apple prices in Poland were well up from the previous campaign, while French apple prices are above the 5-year average but below last season’s level, as France increased production during this period. German prices were slightly above average, while prices in Italy recovered gradually from a difficult end to the previous marketing year.

The remaining stocks from the preceding crop were rather high, but had little impact as they constitute just 4.6% of the average crop. On 1st December 2019, EU apple stocks were at their lowest level for 7 years. For the rest of the season it is expected that internal EU demand might be low due to a generally mild winter, which will prompt producers to explore all possible extra-EU export markets.

 

Source: EU Commission