Israel’s pomegranate harvest season has started with the first “fresh” shipments expected to arrive in Europe and the US from next week. Yinon Osem, CEO of Edom Fruits: “We could wait up to two weeks longer to harvest due to a full market with Peru and South African pomegranates still available on markets”
“Our season started on time with good quality because we had a good summer here. It was not too hot and when it is not too hot the fruits get good sizing and colouration. Because Peru and South Africa still had fruit on the market we did not need to harvest early. This allowed us to wait another one to two weeks for the pomegranates to fully mature and reach that nice colour and sizes.”
Yinon Osem, CEO of Edom Fruits inspecting pomegranates
“The markets were full and there was no place for fresh crop. Now we are expecting the first orders for next week for those customers who want fresh pomegranates. We mainly export to Scandinavia and to Europe including France and the Netherlands where it is re-imported to the rest of the continent. We have some orders from Russia too. The situation is difficult but Russia not a big customer. The fruit is more expensive and Russia is looking for cheaper fruit,” explains Osem.
They expect to harvest more or less the same volume of pomegranates as last year. Israel harvests around 14 000 tons, of which Edom Fruits, based in Afikim near the Sea of Galilee, does a total of about 3 000 tons.
“We put a lot of attention into the American market and Europe. The USA appreciates pomegranates. They do a lot of promotions there. The dollar was stronger than the Euro while the Israeli Shekel is very strong and that is our main difficulty, the exchange rate, which is a catastrophe,” states Edom.