Cherries 44 weeks a year

The United Kingdom fruit company Norton Folgate supplies fresh cherries to U.K. supermarkets for 44 weeks a year by working with partners around the globe.

The Northern Hemisphere begins with greenhouse cherries (Brooks and Coral Champagne) from the Lerida region of Spain.

In early May, Brooks, Coral Champagne, and Tulare cherries are shipped by air from California. From mid-May to the end of July, cherries come from Spain, France, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

In early August, cherries are shipped in from Washington State. From mid-­August to October, Canada supplies Bing, Lapins, Sweetheart and the late-ripening varieties Staccato, Sovereign, and Sentennial.

For three or four weeks in October, there is a gap in supplies. Then, in late October, early Sequoia cherries are shipped by air from the region north of Melbourne, Australia. Around the second week of November, Sequoia, Royal Dawn, and Santina cherries are shipped from Chile.

In November, supplies also come from South Africa and Argentina. Supplies from Chile continue until the beginning of March, after which there is a gap of about three weeks until the next crop of greenhouse cherries are ready in Spain.

Source: European Fruit ­Magazine, ­

Australians like cheap fruit

Australian consumers claim they would buy more fresh fruit and vegetables if they were less expensive, according to a survey of 11,600 consumers in Australia. Consumers said:
•  Price and convenience are the main drivers behind purchasing decisions, even if it means compromising health.
• 61 percent of Australians would buy more fresh fruit and vegetables if they were less expensive.
• 53 percent don’t have time to cook a complete meal from scratch.
• 41 percent believe it is cheaper to purchase prepackaged food instead of cooking their own meals.

Source: Australian Fruit Grower,


Fewer growers in Europe

During the past five years, 14 percent of German tree fruit growers stopped farming. The number of farms dropped from 8,697 in 2007 to 7,455 in 2012. In the previous five years, another 15 percent stopped farming. In 2012, there were fewer small orchards of five acres or less than there were five years earlier.

The number of orchards in the Netherlands also has dropped. A quarter of its orchards disappeared in the past ten years, leaving just 1,610 in 2012. Of those, only 1,000 have an annual turnover of more than 100,000 euros ($135,000).

During the same period, Holland’s fruit acreage dropped only 4 percent to 18,784 hectares (40,000 acres).  The average farm increased in size from 9.3 to 11.7 ­hectares (from 23 to 29 acres).

Source: European Fruit ­Magazine, ­


French go organic

More French fruit growers—both large and small—are converting to organic practices. In most cases, they are not converting all their orchards. Usually, they convert 10 to 20 percent of their acreage, perhaps to gain access to a club variety, such as Juliet (cultivar Coop 43), that can only be produced organically.

To improve their own image, some sales organizations are encouraging growers to shift to organic production. Most new organic growers plant scab-­resistant varieties rather than traditional varieties like Gala or Golden ­Delicious.

Source: European Fruit ­Magazine, ­


English plant more cider apples

Paul Bartlett, chair of the National Association of Cider Makers in the United Kingdom, reports that new cider orchards are being planted with sights firmly set on winning American fans. Three big cider producers, Thatches, Gaymers, and Aston Manor, have agreed to plant an extra 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) this year alone.

U.K. cider makers are looking to export to Australia and other parts of the world as well as North America. Ten years ago, the U.K. cider industry used 110,000 tons of apples grown in the United Kingdom. Today, it uses 250,000 tons. Britain’s producers now harvest apples from more than 17,000 acres.

Source: The Fruit Grower,