All posts by Lev

Fruitlogistica 2010

Fruitlogistica 2010In the beginning of February annual trade show Fruitlogistica 2010 took place in Berlin. This show is a central meeting place for those involved in European market of fresh produce. Amongst exhibitors and visitors it was possible to find virtually everybody involved in this trade: seed suppliers, growers, packers, exporters, transport agents, equipment manufacturers.
Geographic scope of this show was also wide: all continents were present at the show by more than 2000 exhibitors from more than 80 countries. Exhibitors were divided into halls according to nationality and field of business – for example, equipment and seeds manufacturers were traditionally located in 3 halls by the South entrance. Continue reading Fruitlogistica 2010

Gold Sweetie

Gold SweetieBeginning of February in Israel marks the beginning of Gold Sweetie. This variety of sweetie got its name after the color of its skin.
Sweetie season starts in October – November, when most of the fruits are picked from trees. Part of the crop is left on the trees until their skin turns yellow, and this is how we get the Gold Sweetie.

Sweetie, as a citrus fruit variety, has been cultivated by in 1984 by Israeli scientists, from pomelo hybrid and white grapefruit. Continue reading Gold Sweetie

Carrot shortage

CarrotStrong cold cyclone that entered Israel on Sunday night have caused severe rains all over the country. On the South of country in 24 hours the rainfall amounted for a monthly average and floods had cut off the South from the ports. In other place of the country fields are covered in deep mud, making even the tractors useless.
Because of this, in one day carrot prices went up by 10-15%, while quantity of available products shrank to half of expected quantity. Because the carrot variety that is harvest now cannot be stored for more than 4 weeks, growers harvest it 1-2 days before the vessel leaves port. But even knowing of the upcoming storm didn’t help to farmers: last season the demand for early carrot was lower, so the farmers have planted less carrots for this season. As such, we expect the shortage on carrot market to continue for another 3 weeks, until other varieties kick in. As for early carrot – this week the harvest might start only on Friday, so we reckon that next week’s prices will stay at current level.

Agromashov 2010

Agromashov 2010The annual Agromashov exhibition took place in Tel Aviv this week. This exhibition is covering all aspects of agriculture industry – from soil preparation all the way to export of end produce. Therefor, the scope of exhibitors was very wide: from fertilizers and seeds developers, through watering technologies to agricultural vehicles and packaging. I’m not sure wherever it’s the crisis or general lack of interest, but quantity of exhibiting growers and exporters has been degrading during previous years, and this year there was only one exporter of fresh produce.

As usual, amongst the exhibitors were also various growers’ associations and research institutions, and to me they’ve brought some news. The picture below shows some new vegetables varieties developed this year, and no, no Photoshop or other photo editing programs have been used to alter the colors. Other new varieties of vegetables and fruits exhibited include new strawberries, potatoes, capsicums / hot peppers and courgettes.New vegetable varieties Continue reading Agromashov 2010

New vegetables from Negev

Packing houseYesterday I went to visit another grower and packer in Negev. Their brand name is not well-known on the markets yet, since it’s only their 3rd year on their own. Prior to taking the independent route, the company was working on contracts to Agrexco and Ada Fresh, and still supplies them today from time to time.

The operation is put on a large scale, compared to our local standards: the company grows either on their own or in cooperation with other farmers several varieties of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, capsicums, aubergines, cucumbers and other crops. This enables to build mixed produce containers already at the packing house in Israel, thus freeing the importer from necessity to keep large stocks of produce and always to have fresh produce available.
Continue reading New vegetables from Negev

Capsicums

Israeli capsicumsOne of the main export cultures in Israel are capsicums. Many varieties are available: from classic bell peppers to tiny extra hot chili peppers, in many colors, to cater every taste. Harvest starts as early as September, but since until November there are lots of local capsicums available in Europe, main export season starts somewhere between November and December and lasts till end of April. Main export markets for Israeli capsicums are the Netherlands, UK and Russia.

In Israel capsicums are grown in large greenhouses, in two main areas at the South of the country: West of Negev desert and Arava valley. Continue reading Capsicums

Notes on Greek citrus

Greece is a beautiful country, with warm climate suitable for growth of many fruits: oranges, mandarins, kiwi, apples and, of course, various stone fruits. Here are my short notes from a trip I’ve made there about a month ago.

The area where I was heading – Argolis – is located on South of Greece, about 180 km from Athens. Half of the way is by new highway, renovated and rebuilt for the Olympic games, while last 30 kms are through typical Greek intercity roads, crossing many villages. The roads are so narrow at some points that two trucks can hardly pass each other, almost touching village houses with their mirrors. In all places, the quality of road surface was very good, so it took me only 2 hours from the Athens airport to the Nafplion area. Continue reading Notes on Greek citrus

Mandarins

One of the most popular winter fruits are mandarins. Known also as “easy-peelers”, these little orange juicy fruits are the most popular citrus eaten as a snack. Easy-peelers is also probably the most diverse citrus group, with dozens of varieties,  sub-varieties and hybrids.

Israeli grown mandarins are famous for their taste and quality and here we take a closet look at them.

Satsuma

Satsuma are the first mandarins of the season, harvested from the end of September through November. Continue reading Mandarins