Hans Widmann, Herbert Widmann Ltd, expert in fresh berries from Chile and Peru:

"In week 6, we will receive the first kiwberries from Chile"

Hans Widmann, managing partner of Herbert Widmann Ltd, talked to us about his imports of kiwi berries, which he calls as baby kiwis.

Hans Widmann

"In week 6, we will receive the first kiwberries from Chile from our producers. We expect around 15,000 colli by week 10, (a colli equals 121x 125g format packages) which will be transported by air," Widmann says. Due to limited capacity, there have been significant cost increases for air freight, he says. This does not detract from the quality of the baby kiwis," Widmann adds.

"The good weather conditions in December and January in Chile ensure quality products. We get the fruit from four producers who cooperate with an exporter and market their harvest in Germany exclusively through us." The baby kiwis are marketed exclusively to food retailers in Germany and Austria. The marketing period of the fruits is from week 6 to week 12.

We had already talked about the supply of blueberries in an interview with Widmann in July 2021. At the time, he predicted that demand should be covered by the end of 2021. Today, looking back, Widmann can confirm this. "There have been no bottlenecks in our supply of goods. Both from our own production and in cooperation with our partner producers from Romania, Poland and Peru, we were able to supply the volumes required."

Blueberries currently are 80% from Chile and 20% from Peru
"We currently source 80% of our blueberries from Chile and 20% from Peru. The quality of the berries from Peru is consistently good, while the goods from Chile sometimes are of mixed quality. In addition, we repeatedly have to deal with delays in shipments as it is currently very difficult to obtain freight containers. All these factors explain why the quality of the goods can vary at the moment. The weather has been good so far, but currently it is raining too much in Chile. From there, it remains to be seen how the qualities will develop. We will market the Chilean blueberries up to and including March, while the Peruvian season is already coming to an end."

Freight costs 50% higher than last year
"An increasing problem is created by the cost increases in the countries. Freight costs alone are 50% higher than last year. In addition, both packing material and labor costs have increased significantly. We cannot pass on these increases to the producers in the countries of origin alone. We depend on our customers to share these cost increases, at least in part, in order to maintain a sustainably healthy producer structure," Widmann points out.

The demand for blueberries remains high. Currently, Früchte Widmann receives around 25 containers of fresh blueberries from South America per week. "Our overseas produce is packed specifically for the food retail trade at our subsidiary Nordgemüse in Buchholz. There we have four packing lines where the goods can be packed fresh on the day," says Widmann.

Starting as a Munich-based market trader, the company's focus shifted towards direct imports of fresh soft fruits and mushrooms from all over the world decades ago. In addition, Früchte Widmann produces strawberries and blueberries on its own cultivation areas in Germany, Europe and South America. The company's own packing stations in the greater Munich and Hanover areas provide the necessary flexibility.

For more information:
Hans Widmann
Herbert Widmann GmbH 
Schäftlarnstr. 10
81371 München
Tel: +49 89 76 44 18
Fax: +49 89 77 07 08
E-Mail: info@widmann-fruechte.de  
Web: https://www.widmann-fruechte.de 

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