Custard apples are catching on in Europe

Novofrut has increased its sales of this produce in Portugal, England, Holland, Sweden and the Middle East

Although Spain continues to be the main consumption area, custard apples are becoming more and more popular in other European countries, where the taste for this delicately flavoured, sweet fruit is increasing. This has been confirmed by Novofrut, a company from Granada that specialises in the production and marketing of custard apples and other subtropical fruit. Its experience in this produce, which it has been growing since the company was founded over more than 40 years ago and that now represents 60% of its total volume, as well as the continuous improvements in logistics that it has been carrying out –the latest being the extension of its installations with 250 metres of cold storage rooms to double its chilling capacity, the start up of ripening rooms to attend to the greater demand for ready to eat fruit and the implementation of ethylene bags to improve conservation during transport–, have allowed the company to reach not only European destinations (Portugal, Holland, Italy, the United Kingdom…), but also to open up more distant markets such as Qatar, the Arab Emirates or Kuwait.

In order for the fruit to reach its destination in optimum conditions, they opt for shortening the times between the harvest and the service to customers, with daily departures.

For this year, they forecast a 15% growth in the custard apple volumes compared to 2016, a rising evolution that they have been experiencing for the past few years. Therefore, they forecast producing 1.8 million kg of the Fino de Jete variety. And as a new development, this year they are starting an ecological line under their own brand name (they already produced ecological fruit for a third party), that will take up 20 hectares (12 of them for custard apples). The growth in volumes, both in ecological and in conventional fruit, has been favoured by the extension of the production calendar, which has gone from 3 months to 8 thanks to pruning and pollination techniques. “We begin the campaign in September and we continue until the first fortnight in May”, José Francisco Novo, sales manager for the company states.

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