Greetings from Patagonia: Argentinian organic apples and pears

The season is drawing to a close for European apples, only a few apples from last year are still left in chilled stores. Now the demand is for fresh fruit such as that which comes from sunny Argentina. In the past 15 years the region surrounding the Río Negro river in Patagonia has developed into a major branch of the economy growing organic apples and pears which are sold all over the world. Sustainably-managed Argentinian soil and newly-created jobs are the positive aspects of this global trade. BioTropic is working in partnership with some of the best suppliers who have backed organic farming successfully. These suppliers are Familia Bartusch, La Conquista and Patagonian Fruit Trade.

This family-run business is planting organic pears, apples and other fruit too, such as plums, in grand style. The following varieties of pears are already available in the markets: Packham, D’Anjou and Abate Fetel. They also sold the Williams and Giffard varieties; these were two of the varieties harvested this season and they have already sold out.

For apples, the variety “Royal Gala” is currently on offer – firm, red and sweet to taste. Soon they will be followed by Braeburn apples, which have a complex bitter-sweet aroma and Cripps Pink apples, which are sweet and tangy. Our Dutch member of staff, Joep van Koevorden, estimates that, "The Argentinian apple season will probably last until July. Together with his colleague Ronald Vianen, it was only recently, last November that he had paid the suppliers in South America a visit.

The Argentinians had problems with the hail and bad weather, which is why the crop was less than expected. Such problems are very difficult to foresee. The producers just have to do the best they can under the circumstances and strike lucky. Even dealers from the USA have placed orders for organic apples and they have offered particularly good prices.

Tags: Apples (GB), Argentina (GB), Pears (GB), Joep van Koevorden (GB), La Conquista (GB), Plums (GB), Ronald Vianen (GB)

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