Dragon fruit cultivation has further development in Europe
DATE：Jan. 3, 2017 / MEDIA：
For most products, consumers are rarely affected by the appearance of the product when buying, but the dragon fruit is an exception. According to Emily van Dyck of Special Fruit company, the pink skin and white flesh of dragon fruit must have a good appearance. “The appearance of dragon fruit is very important,” said the Belgian importer. “This is a developing product and we have high expectations for it.” For example, the dragon fruit planting trial in Europe is underway. Although there are three varieties of dragon fruit, only dragon fruit with red skin and white flesh is popular, and dragon fruit with yellow skin/white flesh and red skin/red flesh are not very popular. “The dragon fruit of yellow-skinned white meat comes from Ecuador, and the import supply is very limited.” Emily explained, “We mainly sell red skin white meat dragon fruit.
Reaching peak in December
Although the name of the dragon fruit is impressive, it is not a popular item in the classification. The demand for dragon fruit peaks around the holidays. “Dragon fruit is very popular during the holidays, the purchase is great, and can be found in all supermarkets. Therefore, the quantity is much higher than in other periods.” The number of orders increased during the holiday period. In addition, there is a small demand peak before and after Easter.
In the last month of the year, many Belgian and Dutch supermarkets supply dragon fruits, but this is not the case in the other eleven months. “In the rest of the year, we have a very different consumption situation. We have long-term supply of dragon fruit in Northern and Eastern Europe, but we also focus on the Dutch and Belgian markets.” The demand for dragon fruit has been growing in recent years.
Dragon fruit planted in Europe
Special Fruit imports fruit from Vietnam and there are two growing seasons there. The natural season is from May to October. “At that time, fruit growing depends on the weather, and sunlight and rain have a great impact on it.” Emily explained, “It’s a low season between October and April, but growers use lighting to make fruits matured." The supply of dragon fruit in this season is more than in the natural season. "Although there are contradictions, it is actually harder to get dragon fruit in the natural season."Vietnam exports many fruits to China and other Asian countries. The European market is a small market for exporters. Traders try to supply enough dragon fruit during the holidays. Although the growers have invested a lot in the organic cultivation of dragon fruit, the market is still small. “The appearance of dragon fruit is very important when consumers make a purchase, but maintaining the appearance is not easy for organic farming.” Emily hopes that this area can progress.The Dragon Fruit Empire has further expanded around the world. Although dragon fruit has been widely grown in Asian countries, Turkish and Portuguese growers are also trying to grow this exotic fruit. “I know that there is a supplier in Turkey that is planting dragon fruit, and Portugal has some interesting projects, but I think these are still in their infancy,” Emily said. “But we will have more information in the next few years.”
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