Dutch growers gear up for China-bound pear exports
Dutch fresh produce export association Frugi Venta is optimistic about the forthcoming pear season later this year, which will open up with China as a new market. While it is too early to talk about specific volumes and prices, the group's policy officer for international affairs, Inge Ribbens, told www.freshfruitportal.com about expectations for the inaugural shipment of Dutch Pyrus communis (European pears) to China.
This will be the first time Dutch growers have exported pears to this East Asian market, and comes after authorities signed a deal with the Chinese government late last year.
"The Dutch and Chinese authorities signed an agreement in December 2013 to export pears to China. The protocol has strict requirements about - amongst others - monitoring the orchards in concern to specific pests," Ribbens said.
"The export of pears will start after the summer when the new pears are harvested. So, for now, we can't give any statistics about the export volume and price as the price is based on individual agreements.
"However, the exporters are optimistic as there are already contacts with Chinese customers and they expect a growing export of Dutch pears in the coming years."
Frugi Venta is also looking at a string of marketing opportunities that are currently under negotiation for Conference pears. In addition to South East Asia, Ribbins said there was massive potential for new markets to open up in Brazil, South Africa and India.
The pears are grown all over the Netherlands with the largest orchards in south, middle and western parts of the country. Growers wishing to export their produce must be GlobalG.A.P.-certified, be registered with a cooperative or exporter and pass all of China's pest control and disease regulations.
Frugi Venta is also preparing to kick off the very first Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Connections: Netherlands next month in Rotterdam; the first time the event will be held in Europe. It will bring together representatives from the fresh produce industry with a melting pot of exporters, importers, growers, marketers, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers and industry experts.
"As Holland is a big exporter of fruit and vegetables it is important for us to build international networks," Ribbens said.
"Frugi Venta looks at the PMA as an example of an organization that has organized the total produce chain and this is how we would like to be organized in the Netherlands.