Demand for Greek cherries is expected to grow in western and
northern Europe this year, thanks to large-scale investments in new
varieties and grading technology being made by Greek producers.
George Kallitsis, export manager for leading Greek cherry grower Protofanousi Fruits, told Fruitnet that the development of new varieties, which he claimed offered improved sizing, shelf-life and overall quality, were driving demand in key markets.
Mr Kallitsis said top producers, Protofanousi among them, had invested in new grading machinery in recent years, which made sure the fruit met clients’ size requirements and had a uniform appearance in final packing.
Protofanousi, which exports around 80 per cent of its production – estimated at 500 tonnes this year – supplies principally the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. It also ships smaller quantities to Russia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Mr Kallitsis said the brand is fast gaining a strong reputation in the UK, while he also expects demand from Germany, the Netherlands and Russia to increase. He said Italy and France were also likely to be added to Protofanousi’s export markets this season.
Although Greek growers face competition from Turkey, Mr Kallitsis believes there is “enough demand for the available volumes from both countries”.