Cherry season in numbers


When working within the agricultural sector, no matter how good all the planning may be and how intensive the work is, there is one parameter that cannot be controlled-weather. Weather may be predictable up to a certain point but cannot be tamed. Growers may proceed to small interventions in their farms infrastructure by adding nets for instance over their orchards to protect their trees from sunburn or hale but when weather conditions become extreme, there is no practical way to protect a seasons’ efforts.

2017: a report

2017 has been one of the worst seasons for Greek cherries weather-wise. First there was frost that reduced overall production due to cancelling flushing of high altitude trees. Then heavy rains occurred that lasted for 3 to 4 consecutive days. A heat wave hit right after the rain, causing even bigger problems with the quality of the remaining cherries.

PROTO is well known for the persistence of its people and so it managed to push through and overcome these obstacles. The long experience of the PROTO field agronomists along with the hard efforts of all growers, managed to run a longer cherry season than any of the Greek suppliers. Along with the help of the all new cherries sorter/calibrator, PROTO successfully shipped class 1 Greek cherries to 8 European destinations while sent a special 30+ high quality cherries shipment to Asia.

For this season, PROTO sold in total 4.060 tons of cherries. Export volumes were as follows:

Italy: 524.082kg

The Netherlands: 485.200kg

Germany: 424.705kg

The UK: 157.655kg

Latvia: 91.200kg

Estonia:  82.200kg

Finland: 30.160kg

Lithuania: 21.600kg

Sizes division was as follows:

30+: 6.3%

28+: 16.9%

26+: 20.3%

24+: 16%

22+: 3.4%

Key facts

The number however that shows the difficulties quality-wise that PROTO faced this season is 37.1%, which represents the percentage of cherries that were classified as Class 2. In more detail, 1.878 tons were classified as Class 1 and were mainly exported, 1200 tons as Class 2 together with another 500 tons were sold to customers in the Balkans and finally 482 tons were cherries harvested for the industry.

In order to maintain our high quality standards, 16.600 cherries were checked by hand by the PROTO Quality Assurance Team for their overall condition (small and big defects), Brix degrees and even their skin firmness by using all-new modern equipment.

2017 may have been a difficult cherries’ season, but interesting nonetheless. PROTO managed to make it through the roughest conditions seen in many decades and came out wiser, having attained vast experience making the best out of otherwise impossible conditions.

PROTO may be preparing for the Grapes season coming up in only a few weeks and Kiwis in a couple of months but is already making plans for 2018 cherries, capitalizing on the experience it gained this year.

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