"The first tobsine clementines from the Alicante region arrived around 12/13 November. The quality is good, but the prices are firmer than last year. According to our suppliers, this is due to the fact that there are smaller quantities available this year," says Managing Director Detlev Köster (right). In previous years, the company Johann Köster GmbH & Co. KG from Lilienthal received the first tobsine brand clementines from Spain as early as mid-October. This year, however, there were delays due to weather conditions.
Small calibres and fixed prices at tobsine
"The calibres are still small at the moment, there are currently no larger calibres. Prices are firmer than last year. However, we have only been in business for a week. At the same time, I have the feeling that prices will remain firmer than last year. But that also has to do with how the food retail chains will react. The clementines are mainly sourced from Alicante and partly from Valencia," says Köster. Köster also markets 2kg oranges, 36-pack oranges, small oranges for squeezing, as well as preserved and poured lemons under the name tobsine. The company has been offering the premium brand tobsine since the mid-1990s.
"The season usually starts with the Arrufatina variety, followed by the Clemenules, which we have already started marketing. We have been told almost every year that there is less produce available. This year I can imagine that this will also be the case. Of course, it will only be possible to say more precisely as the season progresses. In 2022, it was said that the season should have ended at the end of December. However, it dragged on until mid-January."
Köster expects the toll increases in December to have consequences for the entire industry. "We buy all our goods with Franko Lilienthal. This means that our suppliers in Spain bear all the costs. We've been working like this for around 30 years," explains Köster. "Ultimately, these costs will certainly be borne by us and pretty much all market participants. However, it is still unclear to what extent. We can't simply ignore the increased diesel and toll prices either. We also have to bear these costs, in addition to the fact that we have to deliver our own products."
SanLucar goods of extremely good quality
Köster also offers clementines and mandarins from SanLucar. "There was a break of two to three months in the summer. In the meantime, SanLucar has also made the switch from overseas goods to products from Spain. However, the Spanish goods are slightly cheaper than the overseas goods. The quality of SanLucar products is extremely good. After all, SanLucar also pay a lot of attention to their quality." The price level is generally higher than tobsine, which is partly due to the more sustainable and environmentally conscious actions and work, such as fair working conditions and wages for employees as well as drip irrigation (no waste of water).
"For the clementines and mandarins of the SanLucar brand, the main focus is on 750 g nets and 1.5 kg jute bags. SanLucar's hand-picked mandarins in 10.5 kg to 11 kg boxes also sell very well. tobsine clementines are marketed in 6 kg storage boxes, but also as bulk goods in 10 kg units."