The traditional change of season on the fruit shelf is now imminent in the Swiss retail trade as well. The first Spanish melons and stone fruits are already available on the shelves. However, the cold weather in the Spanish production areas has had a noticeable impact on the supply situation, Michele Lomma, Managing Director of Rodi Fructus AG, based in Basel, confirms.
The 2021 marketing year to date is progressing painstakingly, Lomma explains. “Everything is still in the green, but sales are incomparable to those of the previous year. Especially at the beginning of the Corona crisis in March and April, we were able to sell record-breaking quantities of citrus,” the fruit trader looks back on an exceptional year.
Michele Lomma has been providing advice and support to Swiss food retailers for many years.
Sluggish start to the stone fruit season
Day-to-day business at Rodi Fructus AG is now dominated by the change of season. “People are clamoring for new fresh products, such as stone fruits from Spain,” Lomma knows. However, he says the supply situation is rather limited due to the cold snap in the Spanish growing regions. “In Murcia – normally the sunshine room of Spain – the cold and precipitation have had a noticeable effect on stone fruit production, which is why the start of the season has been delayed by two weeks.”
The internal values of the stone fruits were also not as beautiful as desired, he said. “Normally, we would not have offered apricots of this quality at all,” Lomma explains. “With peaches and nectarines, the quality and supply are a little better because there has been less hail in the main growing area of Andalusia.”
Seamless transition for melons
In addition to stone fruit, Rodi Fructus AG now serves its food retail customers with Spanish melons. Galia, honey, and watermelons have already been offered in limited quantities for a week, and the first Charentais from Murcia will arrive in the course of next week. “We hope for good weather so that we can offer Charentais with a minimum Brix value of 13-14.”
Despite the cold snap in the Mediterranean, there have been no shortages of melons, Lomma said. “For Charentais, we’ve been able to bridge the hole with Moroccan product, and for Galia, we were able to start seamlessly with Spain immediately after the season ended overseas.” In general, the company is looking back on a successful overseas campaign. “For both melons and pineapples, there were delivery delays during the peak season, but then the situation eased to some extent as the season progressed. As a result, overseas melon quotations have been relatively normal and stable throughout the season.”