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.

Posted on

Russia’s pear imports plummet

Russian Imports of Pears in MT, MY 2017/2018 - MY 2019/2020

Russia remains the second largest importer of pears in the world, despite the decline for the second year in a row, according to USDA data. In 2019/2020, pear imports dropped by 25% in volume to 194,064 tons and 7% in value due to higher prices for imported pears, resulting in lower demand.  After the 2014 ban restricting imports of fruit from the European Union, Russia began to import pears from Southern Hemisphere countries, which supplied pears from February to September.  In 2019/2020, exports from Argentina and South Africa increased and accounted for two-thirds of the overall imports to the Russian Federation, while the supply from other origins declined significantly.

In 2020/2021, imports of pears are projected to increase slightly to 195,000 tons due to lower priced product from Argentina and Turkey.  For the first two months of the 2020/2021 marketing year, imports were up by 20% compared to last year due.

Posted on

Argentina’s organic apple exports fall while pear exports rise

Argentina’s organic apple exports fall while pear exports rise


The EU (specifically the UK and Germany) and the US have been key markets for Argentina’s organic pears and apples in recent years. In 2018, 17,000 tons of organic apples were exported to global markets, down 10% from 2017, due to higher Argentine prices relative to other exporters.  While the US market for Argentine organic apples is projected to continue to grow, the rate of growth will slow as the US expands its own organic apple production.  Exports to the EU are projected to remain stable. In 2018, organic pear exports reached 28,000 tons, up 17% from 2017.

In contrast with the general decline in fruit consumption due to the downturn in the Argentine economy, there has been an upward trend in the consumption of fresh organic products, such as fruit and vegetables, especially in more affluent areas of Buenos Aires. 

Organic Production

In 2018, there were 4,700 hectares (11%) of organic apples and pears in Argentina. In Rio Negro and Neuquen provinces, organic acreage fell by 27%, as the higher production costs of organic apples meant they were particularly impacted by the broader crisis affecting the fruit sector (Source: SENASA – National Service of Agricultural and Food Health and Quality).  


Posted on

EU apple and pear area contracts in 2019

EU apple and pear area contracts in 2019


The European Union’s production of apples and pears is declining. At its peak, in 2012, the apple production area in the 28 EU countries totalled 558,000 ha. In 2019, this figure dropped to 510,000 ha. The EU pear area measured nearly 130,000 ha in 2011, but by 2018, it had shrunk to 116,000 ha.

Poland remains far and away the largest apple producer in the EU. The country’s 166,000 ha account for 30% of the entire EU apple area. The next largest producer is Italy (55,000 ha), followed by Romania (54,000 ha), France (50,000 ha), Germany (34,000 ha), Spain (30,000 ha) and Hungary (24,500 ha).

TAGS: EU, apple, pear

Posted on

Brazil to reopen borders to Argentina’s apples and pears

Brazil to reopen borders to Argentina’s apples and pears

Following several weeks of closure, Brazil has agreed to lift its ban on Argentinian pears, apples, and quinces entering the country. The agreement was reached during meetings on Wednesday, March 6, between officials from the two countries seeking a resolution to the issues which led to the border closure on February 27. Brazil’s Department of Plant Health and Agricultural Consumption intercepted 9 shipments of Argentinian fruit with carpocapsa in January and February.

Technicians from the National Plant Protection Directorate of Senasa explained how it intends to strengthen pest control in the Alto Valle. Industry representatives claim that only 500 of a total of 1,200 officially recognised producers in the Upper Valley of Rio Negro and Neuquen currently comply with all the control regulations. However, the government of Rio Negro disagrees with this assessment: “There are very few producers that do not carry out controls and there are 3,000 hectares of abandoned fruit trees; that weighs more than inefficient controls,” said a provincial source to Telam, as reports

Posted on

Southern Hemisphere apple and pear production to rise 2% in 2019

Southern Hemisphere apple and pear production to rise 2% in 2019

The 2019 Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop is projected to be up 2%, although this increase hides a story of significant increases and decreases depending on the individual countries. Speaking at its meeting during Fruit Logistica in Berlin, the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) announced that total apple production in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa is expected to total 5.3 million tons, while pear volumes are set to reach 1.3 million tons. Apple exports are expected to remain be flat at 1.7 million tons. Similarly, pear export volumes are also predicted to remain stable, at 713,000 tons.

The region’s biggest apple producer, Chile, expects a 5% drop in production, to 1.7 million tons. In contrast, Brazil, the second-largest producer, projects a 5% rise in production to 1.2 million tons.

Posted on

With brimming reservoirs, a normal year is expected for Chilean apple production

chile apple pear

Following a surge in shipments in April and May, Chile’s fresh apples exports in the 2017/18 campaign are expected to reach 731,000 tons, which is roughly considered a normal year’s volumes. Pear exports are expected to decline by 6.6% to 140,000 tons, while the country’s table grape exports are projected to reach 720,000 tons, slipping 1.5% from the 2016/17 level.

With abundant rainfall during the winter and water reservoirs at full capacity, enough water has now been stored up to meet the irrigation needs of the next five campaigns. Yields are expected to reach average levels of a normal year. Total planted area of apple has fallen slightly in the last three years, from 36,206 ha in 2015/16 to 35,937 ha in 2017/18 . Apple producers are converting Fuji orchards into more productive varieties such as Envy, Brookfield, Rosy Glow or Ambrosia, which are demanded by the export markets because of their superior taste, colour, post-harvest and extended shelf life.

Domestic consumption of fresh apples is expected to reach 240,000 tons in 2017/18, which is 24% of the total crop. A further 19% (300,000 tons) is used for processing, with the remaining 58% destined for export. The largest market for Chilean apples is the US, followed by Colombia and Taiwan. Largely as a result of the early harvest, exports of fresh apples in 2016/17 plummeted 35.9%  The 2017/18 campaign in contrast has been a regular year and harvest times for the different apple varieties have not been early or delayed.

Posted on

Drought hits South Africa’s pip fruit production

pera sudafrica

A severe drought is currently affecting South Africa’s Western Cape region, which accounts for around 80% of the country’s apple and pear production. The lack of winter rainfall in 2017 and the low dam levels (about 20%) will lead to a shortfall of irrigation water in the 2017/18 MY by as much as 60% and an inevitable loss of fruit production. Indeed, apple production is expected to fall by 11% to 800,000 tons. Besides the drought, these lower volumes are also due to a contraction in production area and fruit damage caused by hail, windstorms and severe sunburn. With lower fruit quality, apple exports are expected to drop by 12% to 485,000 tons. Likewise, pear production in 2017/18 is predicted to be 7% lower (400,000 tons) and exports are expected to fall by 10% to 240,000 MT.

Posted on

NSure launches new FreshNSure Pear test

Innovative NSure test determines 1-MCP application.

NSure extends her range of tests by introducing the FreshNSure Pear test. This test provides a practical and reliable tool to determine whether a batch of pears has been treated with 1-MCP. 1-MCP leaves no residue after treatment. The FreshNSure test clearly demonstrates whether or not 1-MCP has been applied based on the activity of a specific set of genes. The test is currently available for the important pear variety ‘Abate Fetel’. FreshNSure pear will be available for ‘Conference’ pears soon.

Pears are treated with 1-MCP to protect them from the adverse effect of ethylene, thereby improving shelf life and storability. Because 1-MCP delays ripening, it is applied in storage to maintain quality of recently harvested pears. However, the use of 1-MCP is sometimes not desirable or even allowed. Because 1-MCP leaves no residue, it is not possible to show the difference between treated or non-treated pears. Therefore, NSure has developed the FreshNSure Pear test. This test measures the activity of a selected set of genes that is affected due to 1-MCP treatment. This enables NSure to determine whether 1-MCP has been applied or not. Effect of treatment is measurable after 2 up to 20 weeks after the start of storage.

Pear samples (15 pears) should be taken directly from stored batches. FreshNSure’s practical sampling kit includes all tools needed to prepare a pear sample. One only needs to apply a few drops of juice to the sampling card. The test result will be categorized in ‘not treated’ or ‘treated’. Test results are provided within 48 hours after arrival of the sample(s) at the laboratory.

NSure collaborates with several distributors and laboratories in Europe to allow local service and guarantee the shortest turnaround times.

NSure works continuously on further development of the FreshNSure test. Recently, FreshNSure Apple has been made available for a wider range of varieties and a FreshNSure kiwifruit is expected to be released in the near future.  

If you are interested in the FreshNSure test or its possibilities for your business or varieties? Please, feel free to contact us. we’ll keep you informed about new developments  through our digital newsletter and NSure website.

Posted on

Pears: European supply falls

Good production is confirmed in the Netherlands: +1% on the 2015-16 season, while in Portugal production deficits similar to those of the previous season are expected.

The context of European pear production suggests that 2016 production is expected to reach somewhat limited levels: 2.17 million tons are predicted, i.e. a 9% decrease on last season and on the previous three-year period.

Aside from the reduced production expected in Italian pears, which at 678,000 tons represents an 11% reduction on last season, production is expected to decline in Belgium (-10%), France (-14%) and Spain (-12%) as well.

On the other hand, good production is confirmed in the Netherlands: +1% on the 2015-16 season, while in Portugal production deficits similar to those of the previous season are expected.

In Italy, the quality of pears appears to be very good, with a product of consistent size, thanks to the smaller number of fruits present on the plants and to the positive climatic trend of the months of May and June, which favoured the correct development of the fruit.

According to Gianni Amidei, president of the interprofessional organisation for Italian pears OI PERA, the prospects for this season are positive, with a reduction of the supply not only in Italy but throughout Europe. The need to provide indications on the harvests of the major varieties arises from the requirement not to produce excessively, focusing at all times on a high-quality supply to ensure good market positioning.

In Emilia Romagna, where nearly 70% of the Italian pear harvest is concentrated, the provisional data attest to a total of around 448,000 tons, -13% less than 2015 and down -12% on the average for the 2011-2014 period; the only time when production volumes were lower was in 2012.

The surface area in full production in the region is considered to be largely stable compared with last year: faced with a slight increase in Abate Fetel and the younger Carmen variety, investments in full-production areas for other varieties such as Decana, Conference and Kaiser are estimated to be in decline while the areas for Williams and Santa Maria appear to be largely constant.

From a production perspective, Abate Fetel yields appear to be in decline, with approximately 220,000 tons predicted in the region, displaying a reduction of -14% against 2015; Williams are also predicted to fall by -11%, as are Conference with -13%.

Opera, incentivising consumption among young people

“Opera Take Away” and “SpicchiaOpera” are two of the novelties that Opera® – the only consortium of Italian fruit growers specialising exclusively in pears – has introduced for 2016.

Opera director Luca Granata said food experts recommend that everyone, particularly children, eat more fruit as a healthy alternative to other types of snacks, yet fruit consumption is on a downward trend, “maybe also because we fruit growers are not doing enough either to inform people about the nutritional and functional properties of the fruits we grow, or to make fruit consumption an easier and more attractive option.”

It was these considerations that gave rise to the innovative “consumer facilitators” for pears that are available to consumers for free at the major points of sale.

“OPERA Take Away is a practical pear-carrying container that can be reused thousands of times, allowing you to easily carry a ripe pear with you to school, the office, the gym or wherever you like, so that you can enjoy a nice pear as a healthy snack that is rich in fibre, potassium and vitamin C but contains only 0.1% fat and 41Kcal/100g. SpicchiaOpera, on the other hand is an accessory that allows you to divide a pear into 8 pieces.” Granata said.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 72. Read more pear and other fresh produce news from that issue at: