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Large quantities of Greek apples could go unsold

There’s quite some uncertainty for the Greek apple season. Demand is low and apples in cold rooms could go unsold this season, says Matoula Katsika, export and sales manager for Greek fruit exporter A.C. Kissavos: “Over the past few months, the Greek apple season hasn’t had its situation changed too much. The demand is reduced, the interest is minimal and there are large quantities of apples sitting in the cold chambers that we are unable to sell. I would say that as time passes, there is an uncertainty circling around us.”

According to Katsika, there is a lot of competition, also in the Greek domestic market. As consumers have less to spend, they tend to go for the cheapest options. “In the Greek market, we see an increase in imported fruits and vegetables and at the same time European products are left unused or sold at prices below cost. Also, the effects of inflation on household incomes, limited the consumer demand. The consumers now prefer products of dubious quality, simply because they are cheaper.”

According FreshPlaza, their own prices can’t beat the prices of the competition, as the Greek grower and exporter has a lot more input costs then these imports, Katsika explains: “The prices are satisfactory but there is no interest. The problem focuses on absorption. We also have large imports of apples that overwhelm the Greek market. We increase our costs ourselves by doing an integrated management of plant protection, while the imported products that come from third countries do not apply even the basic rules of plant protection and do not comply with the regulations of the European Union.”

Read also: Apple Juice prices are historically high as the industry awaits indications on the new crop

There are multiple reasons for the unsuccessful season, Katsika states. “There is certainly still about 30% of the harvest of our apples, which will not be sold. And let’s not forget that last year’s harvest in Greece was already very reduced. This global recession in apples is happening because of the war in Ukraine, the economic situation of Egypt, which is a country that absorbed large quantities, about 60%, of our apples for so many years, and the acceleration of the recession that happened with the war in Israel. This war forced transport route changes and long delays in the delivery of containers.”

“We hope that all this turmoil will end quickly, and that the situation will somehow normalize. We have already started the new cherry harvest season, although the progress so far has its ups and downs. As Kissavos, we do our best to ensure the quality and our good reputation in the markets in order to give us more exports,” Katsika concludes.

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