Due to the collaborations developed between German importers and Moldovan producers, Moldovan plums are capturing a larger and larger portion of this market, and importers are constantly looking for new Moldovan plum suppliers, FreshPlaza writes.
The first Moldovan plums were exported to Germany in 2017, according to Iurie Fala, president and chief executive officer of Moldova Fruct, the nation’s association of fruit farmers and exporters.
“At the time, 220 tons of plums were exported, but the quantity increased year after year, surpassing over 5,500 tons in 2021, according to data from the Agricultural Market Information Agency in Germany. Shipments to Germany increased again in 2022 despite the lower plum harvest compromised by late spring frosts”, said Fala.
“Moldovan plum producers are trustworthy partners for us. Presently, Moldova is the source of 30 to 40 percent of the plums we import. We are satisfied with the quality of the goods, and we appreciate that they meet all our requirements regarding residue norms and delivery schedule. There is a place for Moldovan apricots and grapes on the German market, but these fruits must be promoted so that the German consumer knows them,” says Kurt Halder, Sales Product Manager of OGA/OGV Nordbaden eG.
In recent years, more Moldovan fruit farmers have earned GRASP and GLOBALG.A.P. certifications in order to satisfy the demands of their EU partners.
“This year, three producers successfully completed the SMETA audit for the first time. To be competitive, producers adapt their packaging and are extremely careful with applied production technologies to ensure fruit quality, keeping the residues as low as possible,” Iurie Fala added.
Despite a smaller plum crop this year, logistical difficulties, and higher transportation expenses, Moldovan growers were nonetheless able to satisfy delivery dates and supply premium plums to the German market and other markets. Depending on supply and quality, the German Moldovan plum season lasts from mid- to late-September until mid-November.
“Moldova produces up to 100,000 tons of plums a year on a producing area of about 20,000 hectares. More than a dozen different varieties of plums are grown in Moldova, with Stanley, Kabardinca, Lepotica, and President being the most sought-after export cultivars. From early July until late November, Moldovan plums are readily accessible’, concluded Fala.