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Kiwis grow increasingly fond of persimmon

New Zealanders grow increasingly fond of persimmon © PxHere

© PxHere

 

New Zealanders are developing a taste for persimmons, a fruit previously mainly destined for export, especially Japan, reports Asiafruit. Ian Turk, manager of the New Zealand Persimmon Industry Council, said: “We’re excited to have seen an increase of 20 per cent in just two years in the New Zealand market.”

Around 12,500 tons of New Zealand-grown persimmons are exported each year. Estimated to be worth NZ$10m, exports will reach Australia, South-East Asia, Japan, the US and China in 2021.

“We’ve had an excellent season this year and are recovering well from the impact of a tough 2020 season,” said Turk. “The combined issues of a Covid-19 lockdown two weeks before harvest, lengthy drought conditions and air freight costs that quadrupled due to the pandemic meant some significant challenges. We’re heading into the 2021 season with greater confidence – not quite back to normal, but nearly there.”

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Spanish citrus and persimmon gain access to Peruvian market

Spanish citrus and persimmon gain access to Peruvian market
Photo: Bouquet

Peru has authorised imports of Spanish citrus and persimmon, providing a welcome boost for Spanish producers. Peru’s Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri) authorised imports of fresh mandarins, oranges and persimmon that have been subjected to cold treatment. Spain’s Agriculture Ministry said the move opens the door for exports of other products to Peru and other regional markets. Midagri said exports will be able to start once cold treatment processes have been verified.

 

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HillFresh: Kaki expert with global ambitions

KakiFresh Nature, the Spanish harvesting and packing branch of HillFresh International has recently purchased a young kaki fruit (persimmon, Rojo Billante) plant in Spain.

KakiFresh Nature, the Spanish harvesting and packing branch of HillFresh International has recently purchased a young kaki fruit (persimmon, Rojo Billante) plant in Spain, according to a press release by HillFresh

“To meet the fast growing demand of our customers the next logical step is to start with our own plant in Spain. This way we can control things like quality and food-safety,” said Pieter de Jong at HillFresh International.

Several years ago KakiFresh entered the world of kaki fruit by harvesting products at the fruit plants, packing the product and selling it. KakiFresh now also controls the process of growing the kaki. Because of a special harvesting method KakiFresh Nature is capable of supplying a high quality kaki fruit under the HillFresh premium label “Always Tasty”.

Recently HillFresh has expanded its kaki plants to the Southern Hemisphere in order to soon be able to supply the market with kaki fruit year-round.

HillFresh International is an international enterprise founded in 2007. Its main focus is targeted on supplying kiwi, melon, grapes, citrus and kaki with an optimal taste. Products that meet HillFresh highest standards are marketed under the “Always Tasty” label.

 

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New standard for prospering persimmon trade

International trade in the persimmon, also known as kaki fruit, will be enhanced with the adoption by UNECE in 2015 of the first international quality standard for this fruit.

The first international quality standard for the persimmon, also known as kaki fruit, was adopted in November by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Having a standard for the fruit will make trade easier, open opportunities for exporter countries and offer farmers, traders and inspectors a reliable reference standard, UNECE said in a press release. By referencing the UNECE standard in contracts, traders can be assured the products they order live up to the specified quality and sizing criteria outlined in the standards, it said.

The new persimmon standard, for which preparatory work was initiated by Tajikistan, outlines quality requirements for the products at the export-control stage, after preparation and packaging. These requirements include provisions concerning:

  • quality (such as requirements of the product to be intact, sound and clean, and practically free from pests, etc.),
  • sizing,
  • tolerances for defects,
  • presentation (such as packaging specifications),
  • and marking.

The name ‘persimmon’ is derived from ‘putchamin’, used by the American Indians of the Algonquian tribe for the North American varieties. Persimmons are reportedly high in beta carotene and minerals and are a typical autumn fruit.

They are primarily grown in Asia – with China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Azerbaijan accounting for 95% of the 4.6 million tons produced globally in 2013, according to FAO data. UNECE said.

Until recently, persimmons were relatively little known in Europe but in the past years, trade in them has increased drastically, with Spain emerging as one of the largest exporting countries following the application of new post-harvest techniques allowing for the fruit to be transported longer distances. Today consumers can find persimmons worldwide and in many varieties.

Excerpts from the 2015 UNECE persimmon standard:

A. Minimum requirements

In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, the persimmons must be:
• Intact, with the calyx attached, which may be with or without peduncle and dry and brown
• Sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration, such as to make it unfit for consumption, is excluded
• Clean, practically free of any visible foreign matter
• Practically free from pests
• Free from damage caused by pests affecting the flesh
• Free of abnormal external moisture
• Free of any foreign smell and/or taste.

The development and condition of the persimmons must be such as to enable them:
• To withstand transportation and handling
• To arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.

B. Maturity requirements

The persimmons must be sufficiently developed, and display satisfactory ripeness. The development and state of maturity of the persimmons must be such as to enable them to continue their ripening process and to reach the degree of ripeness required in relation to the varietal characteristics.
At least the lower 1/3 of the fruit should be yellow or the colour of the fruit should be turning.