Israel: Weather impacts Galilee Export's avocado season
As the Israeli avocado season moves towards the later stages of the campaign, Galilee Export is juggling different varieties to maintain supply for the coming months.
"We are in the last part of the greenskin season as two-thirds are now behind us and we are in the middle of the Hass season," Vice president of marketing Eitan Zvi tells www.freshfruitportal.com.
"The main area for Pinkerton variety in Upper Galilee was heavily affected by frost last year, and the crop this year is only 20% to 30% of the normal crop."
Galilee Export runs a packing house known as Milopri in Western Galilee.
"Also in the Milopri and Granot areas, which have mainly Ettinger and Hass, other varieties like Pinkerton and Arad have been affected by 20% less than last year which means there is 80% of the crop. Although, this is not a heavy reduction."
Galilee Export had planned to keep Ettinger volumes for January, but hot temperatures led to an early harvest.
"Unfortunately due to the hot summer, the Ettinger couldn’t wait on the trees and we had to harvest all very quickly and finish the Ettinger season without keeping fruit for the domestic market.
"In order to come up with nice volumes for the holiday period we had to push Zemach (avocado partners) for high volume and start varieties like Arad Fino and Fuerte which we had planned to start only at week one (early January).
"We are now in a situation that we are limiting harvest in Milopri and the Upper Galilee which have bigger fruit in order not to finish the season too early and the main packhouse right now is Zemach which has small amounts of fruit and will finish the harvest in a few weeks."
In terms of availability of other varieties, the Pinkerton season will finish at the end of March and Hass at the start of April.
Galilee Export’s campaign mainly focuses on supplies to Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, Germany and the U.K.