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“Prices for soft fruit are higher than ever before

While the gaze of many blueberry traders and producers is directed at Chile, Spain, and especially Peru, an increasingly attractive market is developing in Serbia. Thus, it is not only the European neighbors but also overseas traders who are showing interest in Serbian production, Anneliese Vollweiler of Anevo Trading from Erlangen tells us. She spoke about the peculiarities of Serbian production.


Exploding prices of Serbian products
“Prices have just exploded and are higher than ever before. In 38 years in the fruit trade, especially frozen fruits have never been so expensive. IQF raspberries of the Willamette variety are supplied at 6.00 EUR/kg to German industry and bakeries, and the price is even higher for retailers. IQF blackberries were at 1.00 EUR/kg in 2020, today 3.80 to 4.00 EUR/kg for industry and bakeries. Plums are available, but 30% more expensive at around 1.00 EUR/kg, while apricots are about 2.00 EUR/kg,” Vollweiler says.

Furthermore, Vollweiler points out that while this year’s weather extremes have also greatly affected international production. Smaller farms have received support, for example, from the Serbian state itself, from the EU – IPARD funds – and from US AID. Generally speaking, living conditions in Serbia are noticeably better than in some neighboring countries in the Balkans. “The high price levels in Serbia and the Balkans are also transferred to the prices in Poland and Ukraine. In general, there is also less product. Many cold stores, especially the smaller ones, want to stop production at the end of the year,” Vollweiler said.


Pressure from electricity and gas pricing increases
He added that an increase in electricity prices is expected in 2021/2022. The pandemic prevented a price increase in 2020, he said, “but, as Serbia seeks EU maturity as a candidate for EU membership, both a CO2 tax must be expected and the general gas price increase must be shared,” he said. Workers’ wages have also increased and Corona has led to losses, especially among workers in cold storage, where Covid viruses are very comfortable. The number of workers available has shrunk quite a bit as a result.”

Big gains for Poland and Ukraine
Anevo Trading’s managing director cited the forest fires in the U.S. and poor harvests from Chile as reasons for the intense interest from the U.S. in European soft fruits. “Polish raspberry varieties, e.g. Polana, which are also cultivated in Ukraine, should be mentioned here as well. Qualitatively, the Willamette variety from Serbia is the best, yet the highest prices are also paid for Polish/Ukrainian varieties – but an overall price about 15-20% lower.”

Sour cherry tree

Future developments
Vollweiler believes prices could fall, as she suspects a cycle will occur in three to five years. Many investors from outside the industry, such as construction, are investing primarily in blueberry plantations, hoping for the highest prices. Too much supply will depress prices and plantations will go wild. This has already been observed in the past with blackberries and raspberries.

That aside, Anneliese Vollweiler also sees new ways of cultivation that address these and other problems: “In the future, we will see more and more greenhouses in addition to outdoor crops. In Styria, for example, a large geothermal plant with almost 30 hectares of glass and plastic greenhouses is used primarily to produce vegetables, with the help of the heat from the water from the so-called “thermal line” that runs through eastern Austria. This means that vegetables and sensitive fruits such as strawberries can be delivered to food retailers all year round and ripened to perfection in an environmentally friendly manner.

plum on tree

New stone fruit varieties
“For fresh produce – especially stone fruit – it has to be said that, similar to France, new varieties are being tried out that can cope with global warming and yields can improve again,” Vollweiler says. “At the moment, we are preparing a new project for the German and Austrian markets that is aimed in this direction. Among other things, soil samples are being analyzed, water availability for irrigation, hail and sun protection costs, and calculations are being made.”

For more information:
Anneliese Vollweiler
Anevo Trading GmbH


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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

Prepared according to

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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