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Israeli pepper growers under pressure from Russian crisis

Israeli pepper growers under pressure from Russian crisis

The quick devaluation of the Russian currency is taking a big toll on exporters and will put huge pressure on many of them. Mr Avi Kadan, of the Israeli company Adafresh, states that “the big question is who will survive and who will not, depending on how much the Rouble will fall.”

This situation has coincided with yet another bad start for Israel’s pepper campaign. “The problem is that I don’t see alternative crops in the Arava Valley, but luckily, it’s only the start of the season; we have another four months to go, and if pepper prices are still reasonable with the new Rouble rates, we will be ok,” affirms Avi.

The key aspect to take into account is that Russia is a very important market for Israeli pepper growers, and Avi assures that Government funds may be needed to help palliate their debts. “The situation for exporters will depend on the percentage that the Russian market represented for them and who their clients were. Those trading with supermarkets in U.S. dollars, for example, will be in a good position.”

For Adafresh, the impact of the Russian crisis will not be as bad, as overall, Russia only accounts for 5% of the company’s business. “We have a strong partner with us and are Europe-oriented, but for sure, other companies lacking marketing channels may suffer.”

Meanwhile, in Europe, the situation is similar, and even a little better than last year. However, “a lot of peppers that were intended for Russia will now end up in Europe, so there is a risk the market may collapse,” states Avi.

This naturally has led Adafresh to look for opportunities in alternative markets, namely in America. “We used to be very strong there, until the air freight price became too expensive for us, but with the current oil price sea freight is an option and the U.S. is certainly becoming again a good option for November December, with the advantage that we won’t need to develop it from scratch,” concludes Avi Kadan.

For more information:
Avi Kadan
Adafresh
Email: [email protected]
www.adafresh.co.il

Publication date: 12/24/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Bad start yet again for Israeli bell pepper

Bad start yet again for Israeli bell pepper

After a number of bad years, this season was looking to be better for Israeli bell pepper growers. The Russian boycott was to give the sector good export opportunities. But nothing could be further from the truth, says Frank Mosterd of Gilad. “It’s as if they switched to eating potatoes and carrots instead of bell peppers.”


Risky market
“Everyone thought it would be exceptional, but the opposite is true. Instead of being a very good market, the Russian market is very risky.” That’s what Frank Mosterd of Gilad says about the Israeli bell pepper export to Russia, which doesn’t seem to get off the ground. “The Russian economy isn’t going well, the rouble isn’t working in our favour, and demand is limited,” he explains. “Perhaps the period between the boycott and the Israeli season was too long.” Until a few weeks ago, prices were still reasonable in Russia, but meanwhile a lot of Israeli produce has been shipped. “The market is saturated.” The organic market is having a tough time as well at the moment. “We started out with reasonable prices, but currently the prices are also too low for the time of year.”


Third bad year in a row
For the Israeli bell pepper sector, this is the third, downright bad year in a row. “I was there last week,” Mosterd says, “and I haven’t spoken to a single optimistic grower.” Just like in the Netherlands, many cultivation companies are under water. “Quite a lot of growers are going bankrupt, and instead of those greenhouses being emptied, they’re bought by other growers.” Cultivation companies also rent out their greenhouses to other growers, or to export companies, and the acreage remains constant. “November and December have already been bad in recent years – we have to make our money in January, February and March. If that turns out badly, even more growers will have to quit.”


Improvement
For the coming weeks, Mosterd is expecting improvements. “The market is slowly starting to recover again. Also because of the holidays, we are shipping more now.” Since Friday, there’s been a bit more demand. That means prices of around 7.00 Euro for red and yellow, and 8.5 Euro for orange, per 5 kg box. “From Spain, not a lot of oranges are coming. That’s when you see buyers switching to Israeli produce.” But if there aren’t any shortages, it’s hard for Israel to gain a foothold in Europe. “Just like last year, you see the programmes for packaged bell peppers in Spain, which is the main reason for the limited demand for Israeli bell peppers in the Netherlands.” A pity, actually, Mosterd remarks. “Because the upside is that the quality is really top notch this year.”


For more information:
Gilad Produce
Tel: +31 174 518 530
Fax : +31 174 528 502 
Frank Mosterd
Mob: +316-2255 6700
www.giladproduce.com

Publication date: 12/17/2014


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Israeli pomegranate production to increase

Israeli pomegranate production to increase

After last year’s quality issues that limited pomegranate production in Israel, this season’s pomegranate production is set to top that from last season. With harvesting of the Wonderful variety completed, Israeli packers are busy readying this season’s fruit for export.

“We suffered from quality issues that limited yields last year,” said Yoav Nakash of Galil Export. “This year, yields have been quite good, quality has been fine and fruit has a nice, red colour.” Because this year’s fruit has largely been free of the quality problems from last year, there’s more suitable for sale. Nakash estimates that production this season will increase by between 10 and 20 percent over that of last season. Depending on how the final pack-out goes, the nation’s production could be between 20,000 and 23,000 tons. In addition to more fruit, he added that fruit has been bigger, which will sell well on the Russian market.

“About 35 percent of our exports go to Russia, and they mostly take our fruit that’s between 700 grams and 1 kilogram,” explained Nakash. European buyers prefer smaller fruit, so the fruit that is too big to sell in Europe is shipped to Russia. That should help Israeli exporters compete with Turkish exporters, who have made gains with their pomegranate exports. Though the quality of Turkish fruit has improved over the last few years, the market for pomegranates has grown such that there’s enough business for everyone.

“We have an advantage over Turkey in that we can keep our product longer,” said Nakash. “But consumption in Europe has also increased because more consumers know about the health benefits of pomegranates, so that accommodates everyone.” This year’s bigger fruit can also help Israeli shippers expand into Asia, as buyers there also tend to go for larger-sized fruit.

Galil is looking to take advantage of those Asian markets, with special emphasis on China, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. That pomegranates travel well is a big advantage is reaching those markets, which could take up to six weeks to reach by sea. In preparation, Galil has about doubled its production every year for the past three years. While Galil packed and shipped around 3,000 tons of pomegranates last year, with the help of new growers joining the cooperative, Galil is set to export 5,000 tons of fruit this year. The company will ship that fruit until February in two grades: premium, which is the top grade, and vital.

Medjool Dates
In addition to expanding their pomegranate program, Galil has high hopes for their medjool date program. Because dates are sweet and have many health benefits, their popularity is growing with consumers. That the product can be stored for up to two years gives exporters much flexibility when it comes to marketing the product in new markets.

“I think the date market is just beginning, and I think there’s a lot we can do with medjool dates,” said Nakash. “We will sell 1,000 tons of dates this year, and the plan is to increase that to 4,000 tons in five years.”

For more information:
Yoav Nakash
Galilee Export
Tel :+972-36539020
Email: [email protected]
galilee-export.com

Publication date: 11/28/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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“European retailers want programs with Israeli growers”

Oron Ziv from Befresh Europe
“European retailers want programs with Israeli growers”


Oron Ziv checking the grapefruit

After a bad season last year for Israeli citrus exports, the start to this year’s citrus export season has been promising. BeFresh, an importer and exporter of fresh produce based in Tel Aviv, has benefited from the good prices in Europe for their grapefruit. With low avocado consumption in Europe, they also see potential in expanding the market for that product across the continent.


Workers in the pack house, packing the grapefruit
 
“It was a tough season for grapefruit last year, but we started in a much better market situation this year,” said Oron Ziv of BeFresh. “Prices were low and there was no demand this spring, so shipments from South Africa stopped around August. Because there was a lack of grapefruit, we came into a good market.” The dearth of fruit on the market, a result of an early exit by South African exporters who weren’t getting good returns, cleared the pipeline for Israel’s exports in September.

“Historically, November is a dead month for us for grapefruit, and we usually find ourselves with a big stock of fruit,” explains Ziv. “But nobody has fruit in stock this year.” That lean pipeline is encouraging to Israeli shippers, because when the market for their grapefruit warms up again there won’t be a glut of product on the market bringing down prices.


Stapling the boxes that are ready
 
Most competition on grapefruit comes from Turkey. Though fruit from Florida and Spain is also available when Israel exports their fruit, they don’t compete for the same share of the market that Israel seeks. Florida fruit is the gold standard when it comes to grapefruit, and it commands prices that put it on a different level from any other fruit, and the Spanish season doesn’t overlap significantly with the Israeli season. But Turkish fruit is, roughly, on the same level as Israeli fruit in terms of price and quality, though Ziv believes Israeli fruit still holds an edge.


The forklift brings the pallets that are ready to the palletizer

“Turkey has large quantities, so they need to sell their fruit, and they do it at low prices during the winter,” said Ziv. “But I think people are willing to pay more for Israeli fruit because of the taste and appearance of our grapefruit.”


Oron Ziv holds a box of Sweetie

Easy Peelers
Easy peelers have also been good for Israeli exporters, though there have been some markets lost to competing products in other countries. Spanish and Moroccan mandarins have edged out Israeli fruit in Europe. The cheaper production costs in both those countries make it hard to compete, and the shorter transit times for Spain gives that country’s exporters an advantage. As a result, Israeli exporters have largely ceded Europe in that category.
 
The bright spot for Israel, when it comes to easy peelers, has been the Or clementine. The wildly successful product has spurred increased acreage for a product that is in demand and commands premium prices. The challenge, as more growers look to cash in with the Or, is in the marketing.


 
“The acreage of new plantings is massive for the Or,” said Ziv. “There are more and more plantings every year. In that past few seasons, Israel has exported about 50,000 to 60,000 tons, but this season’s forecast is around 100,000 tons of fruit that is ready for export. If this figure is realistic, then it will be a big challenge to market the Or.” But he added that even if Israel produces enough Or clementines to fully satisfy European demand, North America and Asia are also potential markets for expansion. The qualities of the Or have made it a hit in Europe, and it’s reasonable to believe that those same qualities can make it a hit in other markets.
 
Avocado
An area in which BeFresh sees much potential is their avocado program. It’s estimated that avocado consumption in Europe has grown by 25% over the last five years, and there are signs that consumption will continue to rise. Ziv noted that while per capita annual consumption of avocados in Israel is about seven kilograms, it’s only about two or three kilograms in Spain and France, and it’s under one kilogram in Holland. That leaves a lot of room for more avocados.
 
“If you can make avocados more available in Europe, there’s huge room to develop that market,” said Ziv. Most European consumers prefer Hass avocados, which leaves the green-skinned variety that Israeli consumers prefer, out of export programs. The slow-maturing nature of avocado trees, however, could slow expansion, as it takes over seven years for an avocado tree to bear its full yield potential.


 
Melons
Melons were a tough product for BeFresh last season, with the traditional gap between Spanish production and Brazilian production greatly diminished. While Spanish shipments of melons to Europe usually come to a halt near the end of August, supplies lasted into September last season. At the same time, Brazilian supplies, which don’t typically arrive in Europe until October, hit the European market much sooner. That meant that the September and October window that Israeli shippers use to sell their melons in Europe was largely gone last season. But this year looks better.
 
“It was not a big success for the Galia melon season for us last year because we were squeezed out,” said Ziv. “But we produced less this year, due to our bad experiences last year, and we’re now enjoying a good situation.” While they shipped about 30% less volume of melons this year, a sharp drop from last year’s shipments, their profits were much better because of higher prices.


 
BeFresh’s success with melons this year was also due to their partnership with the largest melon grower in Israel. That gave them direct access to a steady supply of melons with consistent quality. Though BeFresh is a small company, they are able to consistently deliver melons to retailers. Large supermarkets appreciate that, and Ziv explained that those ties give them an advantage when dealing with retailers.
 
“The advantage is that I work with the grower, so the retailer is getting product straight from the farm,” said Ziv. “But you also need a combination of supermarket programs and open market selling.” While the retailer programs are attractive because they offer steady payments for a set period of time, retailers typically only ask for a few sizes. Ziv’s job with BeFresh, is to find a home for all of the product he receives from growers, not just for the handful of sizes supermarkets want. That’s where the open market comes in.
 
“You need a good combination with the packing house, the local market and the export market,” said Ziv. “It’s like a puzzle, to find the right market for each segment of your produce. It’s easy to sell just the best sizes, but it doesn’t help the grower if you can only sell 20 percent of his produce.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe Ltd.
Phone: +972 3 968 2929
Fax: +972 4 672 5001
Email: [email protected]
www.befreshcorp.com
 

Publication date: 11/21/2014


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Unclear whether Israeli peppers will see boost in Russia

Unclear whether Israeli peppers will see boost in Russia

The Russian ban on European goods has opened up a potential opportunity for Israeli pepper growers, who are not subject to Russia’s ban. But with the emerging dominance of Spanish peppers in the European market, many Israeli exporters have been focusing on the Russian market for years. With significant quantities of Israeli peppers already finding their way to Russia, it’s not clear if the recent ban on European goods will lead to an increased amount of peppers arriving in Russia from Israel.

“There are peppers right now in Israel, but they’re for the domestic market,” said Niva Ben Zion of Avniv. “In terms of whether there is enough to export to Russia, I’d say there are some peppers, but nothing like the quantities we’re familiar with during winter.” If Israeli exporters had known that the Russian market would not be open to European exporters right now, they might have planned for more volume available for export. But as no one could have foreseen the current situation, Israeli exporters can’t pounce on the present market.

As for the medium term, Niva Ben Zion is not sure the Russian market will become significantly more attractive for Israeli shippers, as that market has already become an important one for exporters.

“In general, we will keep going to the Russian market, as we have done for many years,” said Niva Ben Zion. “Everyone in Europe has preferred Spanish peppers for some time because they don’t have to pay duty on them, there are fewer transportation costs and there are fewer quality issues. We’ve found ourselves relying more on the Russian market, so I don’t see such a big change. There will be fewer peppers going to Russia from Spain, but I don’t know how much was going to Russia from Spain before.”

Lastly, in order for Israeli suppliers to take advantage of the situation, the prices in Russia would have to be sufficiently steep to justify foregoing the domestic market. Because the export season has yet to get into full swing, it’s not clear prices will be high enough to justify an increase over what already is typically sent to Russia.

“Europeans can still send mixed trucks with produce from countries not in the European Union to Russia, so those mixed trucks, which carry different kinds of produce from different countries, might now need more Israeli peppers instead of Spanish peppers,” said Niva Ben Zion. “But, in my estimation, I don’t think much will change.”

Publication date: 9/4/2014


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Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

The mango campaign is currently underway in Israel and Oron Ziv, of the Israeli producer and exporter Befresh Europe, is hoping for a successful season, “despite it being also bound to be difficult, as at the moment some clients are not keen to work with Israeli suppliers and there are additionally some problems with oversupply.”

Regarding pomegranates, which are also just starting, Oron affirms that the first container has only just arrived to the market and so far the situation is looking okay, although the season is still at too early a stage to make any accurate estimation.

Regarding the block of European supermarkets to Israeli products, which is gradually affecting not just produce from specific areas, but the country as a whole, Oron hopes “that both the conflict and the market situation will have quieted down by September, with the start of the citrus and avocado campaigns, as right now, for instance, the Scandinavian market is totally blocked.”

On the other side of the coin, the recent Russian ban on EU products could represent an opportunity for Israel to ship more goods directly to Russia. Oron explains that “it will depend on the product and the prices. The pepper shipments, for example, will certainly shift towards Russia, although Russian importers may not be able to pay some of the most expensive products, like the Orri. ”

Oron, in any case, believes that the difficulties have a lot to do with the market situation in general, as many clients are eager to purchase high quality products, even if they come from Israel. “The mango market, for instance, is currently flooded with cheap produce from Brazil. It is always a combination of political and market issues, and thus how it will all evolve is difficult to predict.”

Last year, some Israeli products already had a bad season, namely grapefruits, but other countries, like South Africa, were also affected by these issues. “Demand appears to be going down and Israel produces large volumes of red grapefruit. Producers will likely shift to more profitable citrus varieties, like the Orri, so we’ll see what impact this will have on prices.”

Oron points to the need to develop new varieties, but also to the fact that “this is a long process. It takes some time before new varieties become good commercial varieties; the ones we are currently testing, for example, will likely take a decade before we can claim them to have become a success like the Orri. Growers naturally not only look at the selling price, but also to costs and the average yield over the years.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe
Mobile  +972 52 3252464
Mobile  +31 6 22514987
Office   +972 52 2555135
Fax +972 153 547625599
[email protected]
www.befreshcorp.com

Publication date: 8/13/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

The mango campaign is currently underway in Israel and Oron Ziv, of the Israeli producer and exporter Befresh Europe, is hoping for a successful season, “despite it being also bound to be difficult, as at the moment some clients are not keen to work with Israeli suppliers and there are additionally some problems with oversupply.”

Regarding pomegranates, which are also just starting, Oron affirms that the first container has only just arrived to the market and so far the situation is looking okay, although the season is still at too early a stage to make any accurate estimation.

Regarding the block of European supermarkets to Israeli products, which is gradually affecting not just produce from specific areas, but the country as a whole, Oron hopes “that both the conflict and the market situation will have quieted down by September, with the start of the citrus and avocado campaigns, as right now, for instance, the Scandinavian market is totally blocked.”

On the other side of the coin, the recent Russian ban on EU products could represent an opportunity for Israel to ship more goods directly to Russia. Oron explains that “it will depend on the product and the prices. The pepper shipments, for example, will certainly shift towards Russia, although Russian importers may not be able to pay some of the most expensive products, like the Orri. ”

Oron, in any case, believes that the difficulties have a lot to do with the market situation in general, as many clients are eager to purchase high quality products, even if they come from Israel. “The mango market, for instance, is currently flooded with cheap produce from Brazil. It is always a combination of political and market issues, and thus how it will all evolve is difficult to predict.”

Last year, some Israeli products already had a bad season, namely grapefruits, but other countries, like South Africa, were also affected by these issues. “Demand appears to be going down and Israel produces large volumes of red grapefruit. Producers will likely shift to more profitable citrus varieties, like the Orri, so we’ll see what impact this will have on prices.”

Oron points to the need to develop new varieties, but also to the fact that “this is a long process. It takes some time before new varieties become good commercial varieties; the ones we are currently testing, for example, will likely take a decade before we can claim them to have become a success like the Orri. Growers naturally not only look at the selling price, but also to costs and the average yield over the years.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe
Mobile  +972 52 3252464
Mobile  +31 6 22514987
Office   +972 52 2555135
Fax +972 153 547625599
[email protected]
www.befreshcorp.com

Publication date: 8/13/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Israeli grape shipments to peak next week

Israeli grape shipments to peak next week

The Israeli grape harvest season started about a week ago and the first containers are already on the water. “The moderate weather allowed for a very good growing season; the crop has a nice appearance and it is in excellent shape,” assures Oron Ziv, one of the founders of the producing and exporting company BeFresh.

Production volumes are similar to last year’s, although the amounts distributed in the domestic and the overseas markets will vary compared to last season, as this highly depends on prices and market conditions. According to Ziv, the main export destinations will be Europe and Russia.

BeFresh normally enters the market with its Early Sweet white seedless grapes during the three week gap between the end of the Indian season and the start of the campaign in Egypt, where the predominant variety is the Superior Seedless (or Sugar One). “We believe that our grapes are currently the best option in terms of taste and appearance. Our first air shipments have also started and we expect shipment volumes to peak by the start of next week,” says Ziv.

The founder of BeFresh explains that it has been a tough season when it comes to prices for most products, so it is difficult to predict how grapes will do. “For the first air shipment we got a good price, as the market is pretty much empty, mostly due to the early finish of the Indian season. Next week we will see how we do, and even then, the big question mark is for how long it will last, as we have yet to see what volumes Egypt will ship.”

Ziv also mentions that last season was terrible for many operators, so many are being careful about where to ship. “In most cases last year, we could get better prices in the local market than in Europe, where the market was totally collapsed, and the situation was similar in Russia. We expect this campaign to be different, but we will be cautious and adopt a more conservative approach.”

BeFresh Grapes sales
Marnix van Fraassen
Direct Source International B.V 
Tel: +31 78 674 91 91
Email: [email protected]

For more information:
Oron Ziv
Email: [email protected]
www.BeFreshcorp.com

Publication date: 5/29/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Israeli exporters hope vegetables can make up for low grapefruit prices

Israeli exporters hope vegetables can make up for low grapefruit prices

An oversupply of fruit has resulted in low prices for grapefruit in Europe this season, and Israeli exporters are hoping that those low prices can be compensated with good seasons for carrots and potatoes.

“It’s been a very tough season with grapefruit,” said Oron Ziv of Befresh Europe. “In all of my experience, I haven’t seen a year like this.” He pointed to large quantities of fruit coming from Turkey, Spain and Israel as one of the reasons for the low prices. Steadily decreasing demand for grapefruit throughout Europe has also played a part, but Ziv was careful to mention that the poor season is not due to any one factor, and that it’s a result of the interplay between many things.

“In Turkey, they can grow with less money, so they can drop their prices,” said Ziv. “That’s really affecting Israeli exporters in Russia, which used to be a big market for us, where they’re increasingly buying from Turkey.” Israeli citrus exporters also have to figure out how to deal with the expected increase in supplies of Orri clementines. While the dramatic production increases that have been predicted have not yet panned out, it’s not clear how European buyers will react to a large increase of Orri clementines.

“We expected to have about 80,000 or 90,000 tons of Orri clementines by this year, but production has been similar to last year’s, at about 50,000 tons,” said Ziv. “But, if production gets up to 100,000 or 120,000 tons within the next five years, the question becomes whether the market will still pay high prices for Orris.”

With respect to potatoes, exporters are hoping last year’s prices will carry over into this year’s fresh season. While shippers wait for supplies from cold storage to leave the market, they’re trying to figure out how to proceed this year.

“Last season was crazy for potatoes, regarding prices,” said Ziv. “There’s already some demand in Italy for larger sizes, but the main demand in Europe will happen in the next few weeks, so it’s difficult to predict how the market will behave.” With no production setbacks or adverse weather during the growing season, there’s a good crop in the pipeline.

Carrot prices have been lower than in previous years, though, noted Ziv. Because most Israeli carrot exporters focus on the Russian market, decreased demand for their product there, has not been good for them. While Russian buyers prefer larger sizes, Israeli product is mostly in the medium range, so, while still early, the carrot season has not been kind to exporters.

“Prices for carrots are not attractive right now,” said Ziv. “So many producers are trying to lower the risk of having a bad year by not relying on just one market, so they want to develop business in Belgium, Germany or France, where they can sell their medium-sized product.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe LTD
Tel: +972  3 9682929
Fax: +972  4 6720001
www.BeFreshcorp.com

Publication date: 3/26/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Early Israeli Orri quality problems ironed out

Early Israeli Orri quality problems ironed out

After a few hiccups at the start of the Orri mandarin export season in Israel, early quality issues have been resolved. Storms and cold weather caused complications for Israeli citrus growers early in the Orri mandarin season.

The weather-related quality issues made it past the packing phase and some orders were affected. “We couldn’t see the problems when we were packing fruit,” said Tomer Ezra of Mehadrin. “But when we opened up the containers afterwards, we saw fruit with damaged skin, so some customers rejected the fruit.” Those quality issues have been resolved now, and only a few of the first shipments of the season were affected.

The situation with red grapefruit, however, has, so far, not taken a turn for the better. Prices have been depressed throughout the season, and lagging demand from Russia has further exacerbated the situation. “The market never opened up as expected for red grapefruit,” said Ezra. “But we’re sticking in the market, so we continue to hope the situation improves.”

Hass avocados, on the other hand, have been selling, and with Chile pulling out of the market soon, Ezra believes prices will continue to rise. “In about two weeks, it will only be Israeli and Spanish avocados on the market, and though prices have been good so far, they will only go up more,” said Ezra. “Green skin avocados have also been doing well, so that is nice.”

Also promising are the prospects for Sharon Fruit. Though the export window hasn’t opened up for Israeli shippers yet, Ezra said they’re ready for when Spanish fruit leaves the market and opens up opportunities for Mehadrin. “We’re also going to begin selling Kumquats next month,” said Ezra. “It’s usually a product for Christmas, but it really gets good colour and good flavour a couple of months later, in February, so we’ll take advantage of a window of opportunity that will up next month.”

For more information:
Tomer Ezra
Mehadrin
Tel: +31 180 642 570
Fax: +31 180 642 571
Email: [email protected]
www.mehadrin.co.il

Publication date: 1/30/2014


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Israeli Sharon fruit season to start in Europe

Israeli Sharon fruit season to start in Europe

With shipments of Spanish persimmons to Europe winding down, Israeli exporters are starting to ramp up their European Sharon fruit programs. While harvesting of the fruit in Israel began in October, the European export season doesn’t begin until this month, and it typically lasts until March.

“The quality of fruit this season is very good because there was no rain during harvest,” said Galilee Export’s Eldad Engelberg. “Usually, if you have rain, there can be problems with disease.” Volume of fruit is also good this year, with a 10 percent increase in quantities of fruit over last season. But with Spanish reserves of Sharoni, which is similar to Israeli Sharon fruit, the added volume will likely lead to stronger competition.

“An expanded Spanish season in Europe is a threat because it gives us less time to market our fruit,” explained Engelberg. “but because we convince in our fruit quality and the ability of arriving to few  markets on the same time we could deal with the large quantities.” Israeli fruit, however, is a sweet, seedless variety, has higher sugar content than Spanish fruit, so the product can keep in cold temperatures for a longer period of time and can be stored until the latter parts of the marketing season.

As a young company, this is Galilee’s third year of operation, and it’s the first year in which they will market the entire production of their growers cooperation Milouot, located in the Western Galilee part, under their own label. Before, about half of the Sharon fruit was sold under other labels, but now everything that comes from their packing houses will go out with the Galilee Export brand, and their expansion into Europe, the U.S., Russia and the Far East has made them one of the three largest Sharon fruit exporter in Israel. “Galilee Export has a ‘growers’ organization meets the global trend of direct commercial connections between growers and the markets, it creates a mutual advantage for both customers and growers.”

Besides the Sharon fruit, Galilee has also other exotic items such as Mango, Litchi and Pomegranates, but also Avocado, Grapefruit and Easy peelers, Lime, Pomelo, Grapes, Pepper, and Medjool Date.

For more information:
Eldad Engelberg
Galilee Export L.T.D
Tel : +972-3-6539035
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 1/14/2014


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Israeli Sharon fruit season to start in Europe

Israeli Sharon fruit season to start in Europe

With shipments of Spanish persimmons to Europe winding down, Israeli exporters are starting to ramp up their European Sharon fruit programs. While harvesting of the fruit in Israel began in October, the European export season doesn’t begin until this month, and it typically lasts until March.

“The quality of fruit this season is very good because there was no rain during harvest,” said Galilee Export’s Eldad Engelberg. “Usually, if you have rain, there can be problems with disease.” Volume of fruit is also good this year, with a 10 percent increase in quantities of fruit over last season. But with Spanish reserves of Sharoni, which is similar to Israeli Sharon fruit, the added volume will likely lead to stronger competition.

“An expanded Spanish season in Europe is a threat because it gives us less time to market our fruit,” explained Engelberg. “but because we convince in our fruit quality and the ability of arriving to few  markets on the same time we could deal with the large quantities.” Israeli fruit, however, is a sweet, seedless variety, has higher sugar content than Spanish fruit, so the product can keep in cold temperatures for a longer period of time and can be stored until the latter parts of the marketing season.

As a young company, this is Galilee’s third year of operation, and it’s the first year in which they will market the entire production of their growers cooperation Milouot, located in the Western Galilee part, under their own label. Before, about half of the Sharon fruit was sold under other labels, but now everything that comes from their packing houses will go out with the Galilee Export brand, and their expansion into Europe, the U.S., Russia and the Far East has made them one of the three largest Sharon fruit exporter in Israel. “Galilee Export has a ‘growers’ organization meets the global trend of direct commercial connections between growers and the markets, it creates a mutual advantage for both customers and growers.”

Besides the Sharon fruit, Galilee has also other exotic items such as Mango, Litchi and Pomegranates, but also Avocado, Grapefruit and Easy peelers, Lime, Pomelo, Grapes, Pepper, and Medjool Date.

For more information:
Eldad Engelberg
Galilee Export L.T.D
Tel : +972-3-6539035
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 1/14/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Israeli biopesticides give chemicals a ‘break’

Israeli biopesticides give chemicals a ‘break’

As a type of pesticide, biopesticides, of course, are supposed to kill bugs, or, preferably, keep them off crops, by using natural, organic methods, instead of chemicals. However, the field is relatively new, and as of now there are no biopesticides strong enough to handle the entire growth cycle. There are various technologies to produce biopesticides, such as using plant extracts to develop organic chemicals that can be applied to plants and crops, along with microbial biopesticides based on using bacteria, fungi and yeast extracted from plants (Stockton uses both, said Ziv Tirosh, CEO of Israel’s Stockton Group).

Though promising, wide-scale, cost-effective production of genetically engineered biopesticides is years away. “A lot more research is needed, and the small start-ups that generally work on these projects don’t have the money or resources needed,” he said. The infrastructure – from the marketing and sales channels to the methods of application – is all geared towards chemical pesticide treatment, so replacing it is a non-starter.

However, Tirosh said, biopesticides can – and already do, thanks to Stockton – play a crucial role in assisting chemicals do a better job. “If, for example, a cucumber crop will be sprayed ten times, we could replace two or three of those chemical pesticide sprayings with biopesticide sprayings that will have an important impact on the final results.”

Timorex, Stockton’s main product, has been feted not only by the EU, but by industry as well. The company won this year’s Agrow Award (given out by agriculture industry information giant Informa Agra) for the best new biopesticide.

“The statistics on population growth and the need for more food are well known,” he said, pointing to studies that say there will be as many as 8 billion people in the world within 25 years. “Chemical pesticides are by far the most effective way of keeping infestations out of crops and ensuring that there is enough production to feed the world.” As such, he said, biopesticides will not replace chemical pesticides anytime soon. “They just cannot be used as effectively, cheaply, and on as large a scale as chemicals. But in a supporting role, biopesticides can greatly enhance agriculture.”

One clear use case for biopesticides, he said, was towards the end of the growth cycle. When a fruit or vegetable is sprayed with chemical pesticide, some of it is absorbed, but most of it washes away. “Growers are reluctant to use chemicals at that point because they don’t want any residue when they being the crops to market,” Tirosh said. At that point, many farmers prefer an organic solution – like Stockton’s biopesticides – which, if not as effective as chemicals, are still quite effective, and do the job of protecting crops as they make their way to the dinner plate, with fewer chemicals.

“There are use cases for using biopesticides in other parts of the growth process as well,” Tirosh said – for example, replacing one or two of the chemical sprayings just to keep bugs from having access to them and building up a resistance. Thanks to biopesticides, chemical pesticides can have a longer, more effective life cycle in agriculture.

Source: timesofisrael.com

Publication date: 1/2/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Israeli citrus production will reach 551 thousand metric tonnes

Israeli citrus production will reach 551 thousand metric tonnes

Israel is a medium-sized producer and exporter of fresh citrus fruit. Post forecasts that Israel’s citrus production in MY 2013/2014 will reach 551 thousand metric tonnes (TMT). About one-third of local citrus production is mandarin (easy peeler) varieties and the most produced mandarin is the Or/Orri variety, about 62 TMT in MY 2013/14.

Post estimates that in MY 2013/14 Israel will export roughly 175 TMT of its harvest. It is anticipated that Israel will likely process again some 200 TMT, or 36 percent of the crop. The balance of 176 TMT will be consumed as fresh citrus fruit in the local market.

Due to unfavourable weather conditions in MY 2012/2013, citrus production totalled 516 TMT, a 12 percent decrease compared to the previous MY. About 167 TMT (31 percent) was exported. In addition, 175 TMT was processed, and the balance of 175 TMT was consumed fresh, in the local market.

The “Star Ruby” (grapefruit) and “Or/Orri” mandarin varieties alone account for 36 and 29 percent of total citrus exports, respectively. Oranges (mainly the Shamouti variety) on the other hand, continue to see their export market share significantly drop.

Russia and Ukraine have increased their market share in terms of Israeli citrus exports in recent years, buying now about 25 percent of the total of Israeli citrus exports.

About two-thirds of citrus deliveries to domestic processors in recent years have been grapefruit. Orange deliveries for processing have continued the decline noted in recent years.

Citrus planted area totalled 19,200 hectares in 2013. Out of the total planted citrus area, 5,000 hectares are the Or/Orri mandarin variety.

Click here for the full report

Publication date: 12/24/2013


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