Dutch blueberry company expecting ‘best crop in five years’
July 28, 2014

Dutch blueberry marketer Berry Farm is harvesting its best biggest crop in five years thanks to an unusually warm winter.blueberry-cartons-_-ffp-300x300 Company owner Sil Moonen told www.freshfruitportal.com he normally achieved between 10-12 metric tons (MT) of the fruit per hectare, and this year would undoubtedly be at the upper end of that range.

“We had almost no winter this year – we had no frosts so the buds were not damaged at all. It impacts production a lot when you have a mild winter like this one,” Moonen said.

Berry Farm’s most important export markets are the U.K. and Ireland, but shipments do not begin until much later on in the season to avoid competing with Poland, which offers far more attractive prices for importers.

“There’s still lots of production coming out of Poland – and they can make berries cheaper than here in Holland,” he said.

Moonen estimated his Eastern European neighbor’s production costs were about 25% lower, principally due to cheaper labor.

“We put everything in cold store and we only supply the U.K. in September. We cannot win this competition,” he said.

“We will then run until about half way through October which is when berries from Peru and Argentina start to arrive. As soon as that happens our season is over.”

Along with the British Isles, Berry Farms also exports to Scandinavia, Germany and Belgium.

The company currently has 42 hectares of production land in the south of the Netherlands, and a major expansion of a further 40 hectares is planned for next year.

Despite not enjoying the benefits of a Mediterranean climate, Berry Farms is still able to grow its blueberries outside without the use of covers of shelters.

“In the south of Holland we have the best production fields in the whole of Europe –the weather here is perfect.”


Fresh Fruit Portal