ADVERTORIAL: Visiting a European Orchard
A campaign launched in 2014, devoted to bicolored apples from Europe, saw a group of delegates from the UAE visit Poland
As part of a campaign launched in 2014 and devoted to bicolored apples from Europe, a group of delegates from United Arab Emirates was invited by The Association of Polish Fruit and Vegetable Distributors ‘Fruit Union’ to visit Poland.
The group of delegates included fresh fruit and vegetable distributors, a sales director from a major supermarket chain and local industry press representatives.
The visit served as an opportunity to learn more about apple production methods in Europe.
For four days, between May 25-28, the delegates visited various European production plants and orchards. It also gave them a chance to see for themselves how much focus there is on maintaining fruit quality.
The aim of the visit was to convince the guests that bicolored apples, despite their departure from Arabic standards, can also be tasty and a rich source of nutritients. This can be achieved through excellent quality management at all production stages.
During a seminar, which took place in a modern European laboratory in Slomczyn, the participants discussed issues such as innovative solutions supporting apple production. These new technologies guarantee that the fruit that reaches the consumer tastes good and is free from pesticides residue.
Article continued on next page...
The guests from the UAE also used the opportunity to have a closer look at storage facilities, where the fruit goes straight from harvest, as well as at the sorting and packing lines. The modern technology implemented there was of great interest to the visitors. They had to admit that producers in Europe use much more advanced solutions than in other parts of the world, such as the USA.
One of the other items on the schedule was a tour of an orchard. The main varieties commonly cultivated in Europe are: Gala Must, Idared, Red Jonaprince, Golden Delicious, Champion, as well as Jonagored, Gloster, and Ligol. They are appreciated not only for their attractive appearrance but also – if not predominantly – for their flavour.
In the orchard the delegates could see the special shading nets spread over the trees; a technique increasingly popular across Europe. It allows for regulating the colouration of the apple skin, but also protects the trees from hailstorms, which are a frequent occurrence in some regions.
The guests praised the extent of red colouration achieved in the visited part of Europe. The guests stressed this was of particular importance with regard to Gala Must cultivar. These apples, with 50-60% red colouration, can really attract Arab buyers.
Another solution applied by European apple producers, aimed at giving apples some extra gloss but also helping to retard their spoilage for the purposes of long-distance shipping, involves a whole range of waxing techniques. Natural products, such as shellac, carnauba or bee wax, are most common and they are applied through spraying or dipping.
During their stay in Europe, the UAE delegates could see that the high quality and appeal of the fruit stems from close cooperation between the producers and scientific centres, and from experience exchange.
The advanced level of European horticulture derives initially from the tradition and knowledge compiled and passed on through many generations. No wonder that the visitors trully appreciated the advanced level of apple production both in Poland, and in the whole of Europe.
The campaign promoting bicolored apples from Europe in the UAE can now be followed on Twitter: @Bicolored1