VdF publishes orchard fruit harvest estimate 2023 - fruit juice producers expect a small orchard fruit harvest of 300,000 tonnes

Der Verband der deutschen Fruchtsaft-Industrie e. V. (VdF) hat seine Fruchtbehangschätzungen diese Woche abgeschlossen und prognostiziert für den Herbst eine schwache Streuobsternte von rund 300.000 Tonnen. „In den vergangenen Jahren wiederholen sich leider zunehmend schwache Apfelernten im Streuobstbereich, was für die heimischen Fruchtsafthersteller die Apfelsaftproduktion erschwert, da sie ihre Lagertanks in den vergangenen Jahren nicht ausreichend auffüllen konnten“, beschreibt VdF-Geschäftsführer Klaus Heitlinger den Ausblick auf die Streuobstsaison 2023.

Orchard fruit harvest in Germany 2012-2023
© Verband der deutschen Fruchtsaft-Industrie e.V. (VdF)
Source:  Company news

The essential factor for the poor harvest is the lack of water supply, due to which the trees are no longer sufficiently supplied with moisture after four dry summers with insufficient rainfall. Thus, in some areas, the water table has dropped by one to two metres, making it impossible for the roots to reach these water reservoirs. In addition, in recent years the start of flowering has been brought forward by about two weeks, so that the sensitive flowers were endangered by the cold nights. These factors, together with the almost permanent wind since March, led to an increased dropping of fruit. This phenomenon is also known as June drop, when the trees drop healthy fruit in order to sufficiently supply the remaining fruits.

In general, the stock of orchards is endangered by the effects of climate change. Due to the prolonged hot spells in summer and an increasing lack of water, the trees are weakened and more susceptible to diseases such as black bark blight, a fungal disease that leads to black spots on the tree bark and, in the worst case, can lead to the death of the trees. Unfortunately, many meadow orchards are also overaged or are no longer maintained and managed, which makes the raw fruit situation more problematic for juice producers from year to year.

However, orchard meadows not only play an economic role, but are also a valuable ecosystem with a botanical cultural heritage. More than 5,000 animal and plant species find a habitat here that urgently needs to be protected. The variety of fruit species and their special flavours are appreciated by fruit juice lovers who attach great importance to the distinct, characteristic variety of flavours of these mostly naturally cloudy juices. Special offers such as meadow orchard apple juices or quince and pear juices are therefore very popular.

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