Greek Apple Exports Struggle Amid Low Demand and Global Challenges

Greek apple exporters face a challenging season due to low demand and fierce competition, with 30% of the harvest expected to go unsold. The global apple market is experiencing a recession, further complicating the situation for Greek growers and exporters.

Trim Correspondents
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Greek Apple Exports Struggle Amid Low Demand and Global Challenges

Greek Apple Exports Struggle Amid Low Demand and Global Challenges

The Greek apple industry is grappling with a challenging season as low demand, fierce competition, and a global economic downturn threaten to leave a significant portion of the harvest unsold. Matoula Katsika, export and sales manager for A.C. Kissavos, a major Greek fruit exporter, estimates that "30% of the harvest is expected to go unsold."

Why this matters: The struggles faced by Greek apple exporters have implications for the country's economy and food security, as well as the livelihoods of farmers and workers in the industry. Furthermore, this trend may be a sign of a broader shift in global food systems, with potential consequences for food availability and prices.

Katsika highlights the reduced demand for Greek apples and the minimal interest in the product, attributing the situation to high competition in the domestic market. Consumers are increasingly opting for cheaper imported fruits and vegetables, leaving European products unused or sold at prices below cost. "In the Greek market, we see an increase in imported fruits and vegetables and at the same time European products are left unused or sold at prices below cost," Katsika explains.

Greek growers and exporters face an uphill battle in competing with imported products that have lower input costs. Despite efforts to maintain high-quality products, Katsika admits that their prices cannot beat those of the competition. "The prices are satisfactory but there is no interest. The problem focuses on absorption," she adds.

The global apple market is experiencing a recession due to various factors, including the war in Ukraine, economic challenges in Egypt, and the conflict in Israel. These issues have led to transport route changes and prolonged delays in container delivery, further compounding the difficulties faced by Greek exporters. "This global recession in apples is happening because of the war in Ukraine, the economic situation of Egypt, which is a country that absorbed large quantities, about 60%, of our apples for so many years, and the acceleration of the recession that happened with the war in Israel," Katsika elaborates.

Despite the challenges, Katsika remains hopeful that the situation will normalize soon. A.C. Kissavos has already begun the new cherry harvest season, focusing on maintaining quality and reputation to boost exports. "We hope that all this turmoil will end quickly, and that the situation will somehow normalize. We have already started the new cherry harvest season, although the progress so far has its ups and downs," she concludes.

Key Takeaways

  • 30% of Greece's apple harvest may go unsold due to low demand and competition.
  • Greek apple exporters face high competition from cheaper imported fruits and veggies.
  • Global apple market is in recession due to war, economic challenges, and transport issues.
  • Greek growers struggle to compete with lower input costs of imported products.
  • Exporter remains hopeful for normalization, focusing on quality and reputation.