As I read these newsletters, I never cease to be amazed at the magnitude and diversity of the fresh produce trade. New varieties are constantly being introduced and new marketing ideas abound. The list could go on forever, but consider the following three examples:
Avos from Peru
South Africa is the top avocado supplier to Europe during its summer months. In recent years, Peru has been making a concerted effort to expand its market share there. But this year, things are different. California, on the other side of the planet, had a much reduced avocado crop due to drought. This left an opening in the market for Peru to supply avocados to the USA, which in turn, reduced its exports of the fruit to Europe. Because of the distance to California, and other factors, it was not feasible for South Africa to send avocados there. But it meant that we could better serve Europe. A record crop this year raises the possibility that South Africa could take up ‘slack’ left by Peru.
In Australia they are complaining that excessive consumer demand for ‘perfect’ onions is causing problems. One leading grower estimates that up to 30% of the onion crop could go to waste because consumers want visual perfection. I know fresh produce is bought ‘with the eyes’ but this is becoming ridiculous. On a lighter note, Tony Glover from Leicestershire, England, has just entered Guinness World Records with an onion weighing more than 8kg!
Russia’s boycott of EU products does not seem to be biting that much. At the recent Worldfood Trade Fair in Moscow, a significant number of EU fresh produce businesses were apparently displaying their produce. Meanwhile, Argentina and other countries are beating a path to Russia’s door in an attempt to supply fresh produce and other products to that country.