Last week, albeit a little later than usual, SFI Rotterdam received its first Chilean cherries. "You can blame that on the rain, especially in the Curicó production area. Several growers suffered significant damage, but the harvest is now underway," says Jan Marc Schulz.
"Despite the huge demand from China, our supplier still sends Chilean cherries to Europe. We can, thus, keep supplying our customers with this specialty, which exudes festivity, in the pre-Christmas period. We carry the larger sizes in deluxe 2.5kg packaging and the 28+ size in 5kg."
"We exclusively supply greengrocers with these cherries from Chile. It remains a luxury product with which we truly focus on the run-up to the festive season," Jan Marc explains.
"We can, therefore, provide our clients with the cherry on top of the menu's dessert. If there are special requests, we can keep supplying the cherries in the new year."
"Chilean cherries prices can reach €20/kg, too high for the volumes retailers need," says Schulz. "But there will always be a specialty market for these niche products and a group of consumers who can and will pay for them. These may not be large volumes, but you can access unique trade."
According to Jan Marc, a select group of fruit importers have been bringing in these cherries for years. "It's not a trade for cowboys. Cherries are highly perishable goods. Besides, they're too pricey for single, random shipments," he concludes.