Both the German and Benelux subsidiaries of Dole Fresh Fruit Europe have put on hold their melon import programmes due to problematic supply and market conditions.
“Brazil experienced some quality problems last season with fruit fly issues and high pesticide residue levels,” a representative of Dole Antwerp, which supplies the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, told Fruitnet.com.
“Dole has therefore decided to concentrate on its core business this year, mainly bananas and pineapples, plus some deciduous fruit from South Africa and Chile.”
The company’s German outfit added that market conditions in Europe last year also contributed to the decision not to source melons this year.
“The 2007/08 season was very difficult due to low prices and poor demand for melons,” said a source at Dole Germany, one of the group’s largest operations in Europe. “As a result, Dole Germany will not be handling melons this year.”
It is unclear whether Dole’s operations in Spain and Italy will handle the fruit.
A full report on the upcoming Latin American melon export deal in Europe will be featured in the January 2009 issue of Eurofruit Magazine.