The export of strawberries has risen sharply compared to 10 years ago (+20%). The Netherlands has been our primary market for a few years now (29% in 2018), followed by France (17%) and the United Kingdom (15%).
Since 2012, Belgium has been producing more pears than apples. In the 2017-2018 season, Belgium produced 310,170 tonnes of pears.
Since the Russian boycott, Belgium has been constantly looking for new markets. While in 2009 0 tonnes of pears were still being exported to China, this rose to 3,324 tonnes in 2018.
Typical assortment of Belgian fruit
The largest Belgian apple variety in terms of quantity is Jonagold, followed by amongst others Jonagored, Boskoop and Golden Delicious, Kanzi, Joly Red, Greenstar, etc.
Conference pears are the main pear variety, followed by Durondeau and Doyenne.
The main crops of berries, also called summer fruit or soft fruit, are strawberries, red, white and black currants, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapes and raspberries.
The strictest quality requirements apply from the cultivation material to the end product. Processing, packaging and storage also occur with the utmost care. Optimum storage systems ensure a long-term supply.
Over recent years, the Belgian fruit and vegetable cooperatives, better known as ‘the auctions’ and their growers, have been honouring their pledges to commit themselves to sustainable development.
In 2012, VBT, along with its member marketing cooperatives and the associated growers, launched the collective sustainability project and label Responsibly Fresh. VBT itself, the marketing cooperatives and the growers each made specific commitments. The sustainability challenges in the cooperatively organised fresh fruit and vegetable sector are to be tackled collectively. This makes the collective character of Responsibly Fresh unique.
Six years down the line, this third sustainability report gives a snapshot of what we have been doing. Since the project started in 2012, the participants have made definite progress in terms of sustainable development. There have been positive developments in economic, environmental and social terms alike.Responsibly Fresh