The climate change challenge


The heavy rains of mid-June have created lots of problems to the Greek cherry producers. Up to mid-June, PROTO has been able to gather more than 4000 tons of cherries and it might just be the only Greek company to continue the production until the 20th of July. 

The weather

Climate change is a given. Nature has sudden changes of mood the last decade more so than ever. The planet witnesses this change on a daily basis with floods and temperature drops and spikes all over the globe. 

2017 was characterized by the Greek Cherry farmers as one of the worst seen in 20 years. Little did they know of what 2018 had in store for them, with the rainfall having exceeded all expectation in duration and intensity. 

The season started with the best expectations on May 23rd, almost a week early in comparison to the expected season start. The fruit was slightly softer than usual due to having withstood already high amounts of rain but the overall quality was good, with few splits and cracks especially for the stronger Ferrovia and Germensdorfer varieties. Bakirtzeika, a rather common Greek variety, being naturally softer to the other two also did not show signs of major defects. 

The challenge 

Mid-June however the weather started acting out, with heavy rains on a daily basis. The main region from which PROTO is supplied with its Cherries was heavily impacted, almost destroying more than 1000 tons of otherwise excellent fruit. While the official data of rainfall for June have not been released yet, May has also had big deviations to the usual weather characteristics. The fact that the city of Thessaloniki had a 148% increase in rainfall over the expected mm, is indicative of the severity of the phenomena. 

Our steps

PROTO was able to handle more than 4000 tons of Cherries, surpassing all previous Cherry seasons, by taking full advantage of its sorter maximum capacity. The company, being the Lead exporter of Greek Cherries, will attempt once again to show its strength and capabilities of supplying its customers with high quality fruit. Along with our growers, we will continue to harvest all export worthy remaining Cherries, reaching altitudes over 1000m high. Our efforts will continue until approximately July 20th, the date when we believe that this seasons’ Cherries will be truly done. 

The weather may be beyond anyone’s’ control, but at PROTO we surely believe that it is our obligation to continue facing all challenges with in order to offer the best to our customers.

For more information on Cherries’ availability, please contact Mr. George Kallitsis or send us an email at georgek@proto.gr 

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