Although its name suggests otherwise, the Dutch company Van Ooijen Citrus has, over the years, become a true cherry specialist. “We always start the year with cherries from Chile, after which there’s a small gap until we get Spanish cherries. From there, we switch to Greece, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Moldova, and Turkey, which, in turn, are followed up by Canadian cherries. In November/December, we end the year with Argentine cherries,” begins Lucien Ruiter.
In Spain, harvesting began with greenhouse cherries on April 7. “These were genuinely excellent quality with a high brix and they fetched €40/kg.”
“Currently, we’re selling cherries from the Spanish regions of Jerte and Huesca. So far, the cherries from Huesca look and taste great,” says Lucine.
“I expect a few more problems with the cherries’ quality in the coming weeks due to the high rainfall expected in those Spanish regions.”
“The hot weather in Spain means the varieties follow each other quickly, and the season will end early. We expect the first Dutch greenhouse cherries in ten days – they need a few more days to reach the right quality. In Eastern Europe, the cherries have finished blooming and have begun fruiting. We should get Kordia cherries in mid-June. There’s still little to say about Canada and the other regions because those cherries are still in the flowering or budding phase, and the weather can still significantly affect them,” explains Lucien.
“The cherry supply is slowly rising. The weather should improve next week, so we expect demand to increase too. Demand and supply are well balanced. Prices are slightly higher than in other years. For example, the 28+ size is selling for €7.50 per kilo. This year more cherries are expected from Eastern European countries.”
“That’s because considerably more Kordia and Regina cherries have been planted there recently. These should enter the market at the same time as the Dutch cherries, but Dutch cherries will, nevertheless, keep finding their way well to consumers,” Ruiter says.
How popular are imported cherries? “Most of the overseas cherries we get are exported again. That market grows annually, while the overseas imported cherries market in the Netherlands is shrinking. Spanish cherries are as popular as ever, especially now that the nice weather is coming and all the other stone fruit is quite expensive,” Lucien concludes, also noting that now that the top cherries are nicely priced. People are also willing to pay reasonable prices for so-called twin cherries: two cherries attached to the same stem.
For more information:
Van Ooijen Citrus
2988 DC, Ridderkerk, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 180 655 555