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Melon packing software for packers & processors, traceability, inventory, quality
Melon packing software for packers & processors, traceability, inventory, quality

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

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Melon packing & processing

Farmsoft delivers opportunities to reduce waste during the melon packing traceability & quality control, processing, storage, distribution phases. By enforcing best practices, FIFO (when practical), inventory expiry monitoring, and easy stock takes to minimize waste and maximize packing profit. Use bar-code managed inventory, labeling, 3D pallet storage, to help reduce waste.

MELON PACKING

Conduct recalls in seconds, with full confidence of accuracy and reliability. Minimize risk by ensuring accurate traceability is automatically captured.   Pass audits with ease & reduce compliance costs using farmsoft's traceability guidelines. Trace fresh produce up and down the supply chain, over multiple traceability hops.  Instantly produce farm records and any other farm traceability records if you optionally use our farm solution.

Melon packing software for packers & processors, traceability, inventory, quality
Melon packing solution for melon packers & processors
REDUCE ADMINISTRATION COSTS FOR MELON PACKING

Minimize your administration costs with automatic paperwork generation. Ensure accuracy of paperwork by having necessary documentation (invoice formats, export documents, transport documents etc) automatically generated based on the needs of the specific customer - ensuring timely and accurate documentation. No more rejected orders because of bad documentation accompanying a shipment.  Food traceability software made easy!

CONSISTENT QUALITY CONTROL FOR MELON PACKING

Guarantee consistent, accurate, and efficient quality control is performed at any part of the fresh produce handling life-cycle; including during delivery, pre processing, post processing, and dispatch. Create quality control tests based on each customers requirements, and even create a daily factory hygiene test, employee performance tests and more. Accurate quality control helps to improve customer confidence and quality perception.  Easily follow fresh produce quality control & fresh produce inventory guidelines.

BETTER PRODUCTION PLANNING & DISPATCH FOR MELON PACKING

Monitor orders, assign orders to specific pack-houses (you can have unlimited processing sites in farmsoft), and allow micro monitoring of each production lines output requirements using dashboards. The dashboards ensure the correct products are produced at the correct time to fill orders. Dispatch teams are given details on their mobile device (or PC/Mac) and scan pallets onto orders. Administration teams can see orders are picked and ready for dispatch, and are presented with the correct documents for printing. All of these features result in improved accuracy of both production and dispatch processes.

OPTIONAL FARM SOFTWARE INTEGRATION FOR FARM TO PLATE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Optionally use farmsoft Farm Management software with our Post Harvest solution. Using both solutions provides an end to end solution from field to plate. Farm Management by farmsoft delivers full farm record keeping, farm inventory, cost monitoring, budgeting, best practice enforcement, and adherence to international farming standards. Use Farm Management by farmsoft to manage your own farms, or even hundreds of external farms that supply your fresh produce company.

Melon packing & fresh produce business management software

Melon packing

Melon producer expands into juice and fresh-cut fruit

Savor Fresh Farms announces the addition of two product line extensions to their Kiss Melon program. Starting mid-June, Savor Fresh will offer both cold-pressed juice as well as fresh-cut melons.


Over the past several years, Savor Fresh Farms endeavored to broaden their Kiss Melon program. “We want to reach beyond the whole-melon category” says Milas Russell III, President of Savor Fresh Farms. The desire to expand led Savor Fresh to pursue a strategic mission to differentiate. After speaking with consumers, Savor Fresh landed on cold-pressed juice and fresh-cut fruit.


“Although the juice and fresh-cut categories are well supplied, our research suggests there is opportunity with Kiss Melons to create a niche,” says Mr. Russell “Consumers consistently demand great flavor and we are able to leverage our already recognized brand.”


The cold-pressed juice debuts with four main flavors, all created to highlight each Kiss melon variety. “Our goal is to create flavors that complement our melons,” states Patrinka Crammond, Retail Program Director at Savor Fresh. Each flavor has been carefully crafted so that consumers have a multi-level tasting experience.”




Each juice is offered in a 12-ounce bottle that undergoes high pressure processing, or HPP. The shelf life for the cold-pressed juice is 28 days.


In fresh-cut, Savor Fresh will focus on a melon trio of Sugar Kiss, Summer Kiss and Snow Kiss that highlights the color variation of the different melons. The presentation will be melon balls rather than chunked melons in order to differentiate the varieties and give a higher-end look.


Savor Fresh will launch their Kiss Melon cold-pressed juice throughout the USA, while the fresh-cut Kiss Melons will start with west coast distribution.

Spain: GM melon halts allergy it produces

Melon is the second most likely food to cause allergic reactions in Spanish consumers, according to a study by the European Academy for Allergy. And it was in Spain that the medicine for that was found. Investigators from the Polytechnic of Madrid, in collaboration with other centers, developed a genetically modified melon.

Scientists developed a profilin (the protein responsible for the allergy to melon) modified melon that is able to stimulate the immune system to evolve to a non-allergic reaction.

This tool could also eliminate the secondary effects of immunotherapy that is, until now, the only treatment against allergies. Moreover, this variety could also be used in the treatment of allergies to several pollens.

Melon and watermelon campaign kicks off in Murcia

The melon and watermelon producers linked to Proexport are obtaining very good quality fruit at the start of the 2020 campaign. After the rains of the past months, which made it impossible for transplants to be carried out regularly, and the lack of hours of sunshine, the early melon productions will have smaller calibers than those that we usually offer,” says the president of the Melon and Watermelon Sector Committee from Proexport, Laureano Montesinos.

In the current melon campaign, the Region of Murcia's acreage will be very similar to that of 2019 (approximately 5,600 hectares), while the area devoted to watermelon production will be slightly smaller than last year (about 2,900 hectares).

In recent weeks, high temperatures have finally allowed the fruits to develop, and Murcia's producers have been able to guarantee the supply to their customers. To this end, they have made a significant effort to maintain their activity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

Main destinations
According to Proexport forecasts, 42% of the melons that will be exported this year correspond to the Galia variety, while 30% will be Yellow, 17% Cantaloupe and 6% Charentais. The latter is exported almost entirely to France and Belgium. For its part, the Piel de Sapo melon, the favorite in the domestic market, only accounts for 5% of the exports.

A significant part of Murcia's melon and watermelon production is intended for export. In 2019, melon exports amounted to 252,298 tons worth 179 million Euro. The Region of Murcia accounts for 56.6% of Spain's total melon exports.

France is the most important market for Spanish melons, with 28% of last season's exports (70,922 tons). It is followed by Germany, with 24% of Murcia's exports (59,384 tons), and the United Kingdom, with 18% (46,579 tons).

As for watermelons, its exports in the previous campaign stood at 179,319 tons worth around 77 million Euro. The most important destination was Germany, with 60,200 tons (33.5% of the total), followed by the United Kingdom with 35,918 tons (20%) and France, with 22,978 tons (13%) exported in 2019.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

Brazilian-grown Dino Melon introduced to U.S. market this season

A new melon variety is hitting the United States market this month: the Dino Melon. John Vena Produce is one of the companies working on distributing it, and director of marketing Emily Kohlhas says: “This melon is grown by Agricola Famosa, a Brazilian grower who acquired the seed from a Korean company a few years ago. They experimented with the seed and developed the Dino Melon variety to work well with their growing conditions. They have been available in Europe for the past four years, but this is the first time that they will be in U.S. market.”

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

Credit: Agricola Famosa.

The Dino Melon’s season began this month and is expected to last through February. Kohlhas describes the melon: “The sizing is similar to a small cantaloupe or honeydew, and it tastes very sweet with a bit of tartness to give depth to the flavor profile – they all test with a minimum of 12 brix, which is very sweet for a melon. The flesh is very tender and juicy. I would say they have a flavor similar to a honeydew but much more pronounced.”

The company is already seeing great demand for the new variety. “We sold out of our first volumes right when they arrived.” Kohlhas adds.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability


Credit: Agricola Famosa.

Multi-market opportunities
The Dino Melon is a specialty melon, but will be geared to a variety of markets. Kohlhas explains: “They are priced similarly to other off-season specialty melons. We are pushing the product towards high-end markets, but we see good opportunities for conventional retail as well. We are working together with some ethnic retailers to bring the fruit into ethnic markets because these communities are often more welcoming to new fruit varieties. We have already had a lot of play in the food-service sector and unique melon varieties are always in demand there. There is a lot of opportunity, especially because this is a quiet time of year for the melon market so there is a gap to fill.”

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

The winter-time is low-season for melons, but the introduction of the Dino Melon might help change that. “This is a quiet time of year for melons. Generally, imported out-of-season fruits have less-than-great quality and flavor. The Dino Melons, however, can stand up to any local variety during the domestic season. If the grower can keep up with the U.S. demand, there should be really good potential for developing a robust off-season melon market,” Kohlhas concludes.

More than 200 hectares in Spain, Brazil and Senegal guarantee year-round supply

New Waikiki melon hits the shelves

The Waikiki is an exotic, sweet and juicy fruit. Its white skin with a remarkable netting contrasts with its intense salmon-colored flesh. The combination of white and orange is reminiscent of tropical and paradisiacal beaches, hence its name. It stands out for its surprising flavor and for its crisp and refreshing flesh. The Waikiki meets current trends, with a search not just for flavor and size, but also for added value, which makes it an innovative product.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

The melon, supplied exclusively by JimboFresh around the world, has been very well received by consumers. The demand will be met all year round thanks to the more than 200 hectares distributed between Spain, Brazil and Senegal.

The attractive design of the Waikiki's packaging makes the product striking and unique. It is marketed in 50x40x18 boxes, with sizes fitting 4, 5, 6, or 8 pieces.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

The Waikiki is not just a melon that stands out for its good taste and relatively small caliber, it is also aimed at a very specific kind of consumer; one looking for new sensations and experiences and who is interested in both its production process and origin. Moreover, it meets other demands: that it be a healthy product with an attractive presentation and that its production is carried out under strict environmental protocols.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

For more information: www.jimbofresh.com

Orange flesh Galia melon presented

Intersemillas has presented this new addition to the melon varietal catalog, M-10699, or Galia melon, with orange flesh.

"The Galia not only stands out for its aromatic scent and the texture of traditional Galia, the differentiation is its unique writing, the hard peel ideal for transport resistance and the original orange flesh, an unmistakable signature of the Intersemillas house that provides a high content of beta-carotene."

"This new variety is aimed at a very specific audience that is looking for alternatives and new sensations, melon with small caliber (average size of 1 Kg depending on the growing area) to be able to eat with a spoon and enjoy its flavor and juicy meat."

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

"Melon cultivation has enormous economic importance for Spain since it is one of the main producers and exporters in the world. Inveseed, the research and development center of Intersemillas, knows the needs of the sector in Spain very well. We are specialists in improving Piel de Sapo, Galia, Yellow and White melons for which we have created specific programs with resistance to powdery mildew and telluric fungi."

"The success of genetic improvement consists in obtaining resistant melon varieties where the quality of the fruits is the main thing, therefore, the introduction of resistance genes must be done without forgetting the quality."

"The proof of this success is the introduction of our varieties of Melon Piel de Sapo with orange meat Sorolla and Pinazo in the southern Italian market. Two years ago, an exclusive agreement was signed with L'Orto di Eleonora, from Sardinia, one of the leading companies in the marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables in Italy."

"Today we already have a national catalog and an international catalog of products for areas such as North America and Latin America, the Middle East, the Mediterranean basin, etc."

"Connoisseur of the needs of the sector in Spain, another great bet is the Piel de Sapo Galgo and Conquistador varieties that cover the needs of Almería, Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha, respectively. Varieties developed in search of the traditional flavor that we call 'el sabor de toda la vida'."

Frank Levarht: “Small volumes of organic melons for first time”

Brazilian melon season started with lower volumes



The Brazilian melon season got off to a good start this year. “Volumes are at a considerably lower level. In weeks 35 and 36, as many as 140 containers less were sent to Europe, which indicates productions are somewhat disappointing in Brazil. This isn’t so much caused by drought, but by the high salinity of the water,” Frank Levarht says. The importer from Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, currently receives the entire melon range, consisting of Galia, Cantaloupe, Charantais, Piel de Sapo, yellow and watermelons.




“The Brazilian melons arrived on an empty market, because Spain finished on time, and this is resulting in good demand for melons. Melon sales are very much dependent on the weather now, but, so far, forecasts are good for the coming week. Sales are just going well, and I expect they’ll continue to do well. Prices are at a level that is profitable for everyone,” Frank continues.




“October and November are crucial months in the world of melons. When prices stabilise at the current level, we could have a very nice December,” Frank expects. “All eyes are on Brazil right now, Israel is the only country that’ll send some Galia melons in coming months, but they’re not a large player. A tendency for small producers to stop exporting can be seen in Brazil, and I think this is good for market development.”




“Another trend is the rise of miniature seedless watermelons. Seed improvement companies are responding to that more and more, but so are we. New this year is that we’re also receiving organic melons from Brazil. Supply from overseas organic melons is still very small-scale, because transit times are a challenge, but we definitely have demand for it from our customers,” Frank concludes.

GLOBAL MELON MARKET

In the summer months, the consumption of melons and watermelons usually increases. With the summer temperatures of the past few weeks, things should be going fine in the European melon market, but this is actually far from the truth.


The fruit is currently in production in the countries of the northern hemisphere. Spain takes the European market over, but melons are also harvested in Italy and France. The season in both countries had a messy start due to the rain and hail recorded in June, but traders are optimistic about its later development. Further to the north, the mood is not as positive. Dutch traders are dealing with a huge supply of Galia melons and watermelons, and with the start of the summer holidays, the market conditions are not expected to improve in the short term. The mood in Ukraine is also bleak due to the low prices that are being paid.


In the US, the high transport costs are taking a toll on trade. These costs need to be reflected on the price, but if this is too high, the consumer will not buy the product. In Latin America, growers are taking stock of the past season and are cautiously planning the coming harvest. The South African growers who were able to irrigate had a good season. Some growers even have melons in storage that are currently hitting the market, but the prices are disappointing.


Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability



Spanish sector expects gap in the supply

After an unusually cold spring with a lot of rain, the melon season in Almeria kicked off with some delay; later followed a heat wave when Murcia was starting with the harvest. Due to the heat, the harvest volume increased, resulting in the current market oversupply. The harvest in Murcia is going fast, so the supply will drop from August. Castile-La Mancha, the next production area, also has a delayed harvest. Moreover, that region planted fewer melons than last year. The sector therefore expects a gap in the supply of two to three weeks, during which the current low prices (around 0.30 Euro per kilo) could rise. Yellow and Galia melons have so far recorded the lowest prices. The Charentais gets the highest price because the various production areas did not overlap.


After several years in which the export of Piel de Sapo melons has been growing, the trend has changed this year. Perhaps the export volume is even lower than last year's. However, the demand from Asia is greater than ever. There is a limited volume of small-sized Piel de Sapo melons available and these small sizes are the ones used for export. This could be the result of pressure from the Spanish retail on growers to produce sufficiently large calibres for the domestic market.


At the same time, a large breeder is investing in a campaign to introduce the traditional Spanish Piel de Sapo in Northern Europe and boost its consumption. This year, 5,000 melons are being given away in supermarkets via a well-known online retailer in the Netherlands. Campaigns in Germany, France and the United Kingdom will follow. The sector is convinced that more needs to be invested in communication in order for the Piel de Sapo market to grow outside of Spain. Spanish growers claim that the Piel de Sapo as "the tastiest" melon.


Italy: Concerns about prices and supply

The start of the season in Lazio was not good because of the rain and hail recorded last month, says a trader. However, a good harvest is expected for the coming months until mid-October. "We are optimistic and we believe that the season can recover."


In Salento, the largest growing region in Puglia, melons and watermelons are harvested in the summer months. The market usually peaks in July, mainly thanks to tourism; however, this is not currently the case. According to a trader, prices stand below the production cost, and the price war between large retailers is a big threat to the entire sector. Growers look at the development of the seasons in other areas and are somewhat bitter. "Greece had a reasonably positive season, with prices oscillating between 0.20 and 0.24 Euro per kilo, and the results were also positive in Sicily. Meanwhile, Puglia had a dramatic season last year and things don't seem to be getting much better in 2018. "The export markets also offer no solution to this. The price movements there are usually predictable and the market just moves along.


Watermelons are also yielding disappointing results. There is a huge production available, says a trader. As a result, prices are under pressure.

Although the mini-watermelons are becoming increasingly popular, there is still a good market for large sizes. The latter are sold for a nice price of 0.70 Euro per kilo and are mainly bought by stores that sell them already cut.


France: Chaotic start of the season due to bad weather

A southern French grower tells us that the season has had a chaotic start. "We've had bad weather for a month, although things have improved a little in the past three weeks. It's now warm and beautiful outside, and this has a positive impact on the market." Consumers are eating melons again and prices increased by 20 cents early last week." The bad weather has had an impact on the quality of the melons, but according to the grower, it is not a big issue. "Some are tasty, and some are not as tasty."


The Netherlands: Abundance of watermelons and Galia melons

The Dutch melon market is currently marked by oversupply. "We are asking for 40 cents for the watermelons and getting 30 cents, and there are also a lot of Galias available," says an importer. The full melon range is currently supplied by Murcia. Valencia is shipping watermelons and from next week, La Mancha will also be on the market with yellow and Piel de Sapo melons. Compared to the watermelons and Galias, yellow melons are doing good and the situation of Cantaloupe and Piel de Sapo melons is also acceptable. Since many more Dutch people are going on holiday, the market is not expected to revive any time soon.


Ukraine: Low prices and competition on exports

The season started three weeks ago, which is relatively early. The prices have already been at a critical level since the start of the harvest, as reported by growers. On 12 July, producers from Kherson were paid 0.04 to 0.05 Euro per kilo for their watermelons. According to growers, that price is insufficient to cover the production costs. At the start of the watermelon harvest, prices were 50% lower than in the same period of 2017. In the first three weeks after the start of the campaign, the price was on average 20% lower than in the previous year. In the second week of July, prices were at a comparable level to those of 2017 for the first time.


Low prices are also paid on the wholesale markets. The highest prices have been reached in Lviv and Kiev, with 0.11 to 0.12 Euro per kilo. Lower prices are paid in other wholesale markets (0.06-0.07 Euro/kg). Exports also leave much to be desired this year. Poland is an important buyer, but the competition with Hungarian watermelons is tough. Prices on the Polish wholesale markets reach 0.23 Euro per kilo, which is 10% lower than last year. However, Ukrainian exporters are faced with rising transport costs.


Transport costs shaping mood in US market

Although the supply of melons this season is good, traders on the west coast are feeling the impact of the rising transport costs. In California, traders notice that the supply is shifting from the desert region to the central part of the State. Due to the high transport costs, the fruit reaches supermarkets at a higher price, but higher retail prices are not good for the product's sales, says a trader. Retail demand is still good, but is under pressure. A trader is pessimistic. He expects little from the market in July, and August is traditionally not as good a month. The growth in the processing and catering industries cannot alleviate that pain. On the east coast, Georgia and Carolina are on the market and the supply is slowly moving further north.


Growth of Chinese sector continues

In general terms, China has had a large fruit harvest this year, and this also seems to be the case for watermelons. The high prices paid last year motivated growers to give the production of melons and watermelons a boost. The favourable weather conditions also stimulate the crop's production. At the moment, the harvest is reaching its peak in Hebei and the northern provinces. The large production areas in the south start harvesting in April, with a peak in May.


Earlier this year, the Chinese import sector signed a strategic agreement with the Vietnamese authorities to increase the import of Vietnamese watermelons for retail. Around 20% of the Vietnamese harvest (1.5 million tonnes) is exported to China. The melons are transported over land and the import season overlaps with the harvest in South China. This often results in a surplus and falling prices. Improved cooperation and distribution can prevent this. More and more growers are buying land in China to increase the supply. The combination of local production and imports guarantee a year-round supply.


Australian melon cultivation is catching up

Australian melon cultivation recovered following the impact of an isolated listeria outbreak which had major consequences for the sector. The sector suffered a loss of 15 million dollars and there were melons left unharvested across the country. Melons rotting on the ground were the result of declining consumer confidence. According to the authorities in Queensland, the demand halved during the crisis. The national authorities offered the sector $ 100,200 to help it stand up again and to grow in a number of markets, namely Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Malaysia. North Queensland, the Northern Territory and Kununurra and Canarvon in Western Australia are currently on the market. Hort Innovation's figures show significant export growth in recent years. Between 2015 and 2017, the value of exports grew from 4.5 million dollars to 8.5 million dollars. However, the volume in 2017 increased by just 3% compared to 2016.


South African growers with access to irrigation had a good season

There is a reasonable supply of watermelons on the market. The Mickylee and Crimson Sweet varieties recorded a "reasonable" price for the winter months in the southern hemisphere. In the supermarkets, these melons cost 1.90 Euro. Consumers usually switch from summer fruits, such as watermelons, to citrus around Easter, explains a grower from Gauteng. From 1 September, the first loose, large watermelons will be on the market again.


In Cape Town, a trader says that there is still supply from a grower from Touwsrivier, Karoo. That grower had sufficient water available and had benefitted from it. He has so many watermelons that it is occasionally difficult to find a market for them.


On a national level, the past season has been good in terms of production. In the Cape region, a smaller crop was expected due to the dry weather, which would result in higher prices. In North Cape, where many growers irrigate with water from the Orange River, the harvest was large, which put the prices under pressure. Growers without irrigation in Limpopo harvested fewer watermelons, but in the areas where irrigation was available, the harvest was larger. According to traders, the quality was excellent.


Latin America takes stock of the campaign

The Latin American countries are mainly on the market during the last and first months of the year. During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, these countries leave their place on the market to other countries.


Costa Rica closed the export season in May with good results. The fruit is said to have had a good colour and a better internal quality than usual. This is partly due to the growers' efforts to grow a better product. Due to the focus on quality, there are opportunities in markets such as Scandinavia, Germany and the United Kingdom.


The Panama season usually runs from November to May. From June, there is too much rain for melon cultivation. Since 2005, watermelon cultivation has been declining in the country. This is due, on the one hand, to developments in the European market, and on the other, to the fact that the melons are not competitive enough. Costa Rica and Brazil, the main competitors, usually have better access to Europe. Panamanian traders are trying to find contacts in Europe and thus expand their presence there.


Brazil is slowly preparing for the start of the new season in September. During the winter months in the southern hemisphere, the demand on the domestic market falls. The recent rains may have an impact on the preparations for the coming season, including the choice of varieties. The Yellow melon and the Piel de Sapo, which are less sensitive to rain, seem to be chosen more often. The acreage is expected to remain stable, after the good previous season. Melons are still available on the domestic market, although prices were under pressure in the first week of July. The school holidays and the World Cup are mentioned as the cause.


Torre Pacheco, the most affected area

Severe damage on melon crops caused by hailstorm in Murcia

On Monday afternoon, abundant rains accompanied by hail fell in Campo de Cartagena, in Murcia. Damage to crops is considerable, although localized. Torre Pacheco, El Jimenado and Sucina, currently the most important melon-producing areas of Murcia and Spain, are among the most affected.

Proexport, the Association of Producers and Exporters of fruits and vegetables in the Region of Murcia, has posted videos on its social networks of melon plantations in Roldán (in the municipality of Torre Pacheco) which have been damaged by the storm only a few days before the harvest. They show how fields have been flooded and microtunnels have been fully destroyed by the hail.

Technicians from Proexport and other producer organizations are conducting assessments on site to evaluate the extent of the damage and quantify the number of hectares affected.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

Other crops currently in season, such as stone fruit, have not been affected by this storm, and neither have table grapes, which are grown in other areas and whose harvest will kick off in two weeks.

Honduran melon exports fall

As a consequence of the expansion of the pandemic, Honduran melon and watermelon exports during the first four months of the year amounted to 86.1 million dollars, i.e. 16.5% less than the 103.1 million dollars achieved in the same period of 2019, according to the foreign trade report of the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH).

According to the report, the drop in external sales was due to the 12.2% reduction in volume and to a decrease in orders, especially from the United States and the Netherlands, which together account for 87% of the country's fruit exports.

The fall in earnings is due to the 4.9% contraction in prices, the lowest in the last two years.

“The sanitary crisis produced by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected most of Honduras' export crops due to the reduction of demand, caused by the closing of markets in destination countries, and to an increase in production costs, ”said Erick Martínez, the director of the National Program for Agricultural Food Development (Pronagro), of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG).

Contribution
Melon is the country's second most important agricultural export product after bananas, which contribute an average of about 400 million dollars to the economy each year.

During 2019, melon exports increased by 26 million dollars over the previous year. This increase was driven by better international prices (42.3%) and higher quantities shipped (6.9%). Melon exports that year stood at more than 92 million dollars.

The dynamism of the sector in key markets, such as the United States, continued in the first two months of the year with higher orders. However, it was hindered by the collapse in mid-March caused by the pandemic, according to a report by the specialized consultancy Agtools Inc.

The United States imports most of its melons from Guatemala (63%), Honduras (26%), and Costa Rica (10%). Moreover, it imports most of its watermelons from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Source: laprensa.hn

Miguel Ángel Jiménez Bosque, of Jimbofresh:

Lililup melon: "Taste matters, and size does, too"

"The melon campaign has started at the expected date and in the right way. This winter has been warmer than usual, which resulted in a fantastic first setting and a really good vegetative quality," says Miguel Angel Jimenez Bosque, of Jimbofresh. "However, in the month of April, we had more than 100 liters of rainfall, which caused the melons to lose some of their roots, with the consequent loss of fruit. The first melons suffered more than desired and the production and quality were affected."

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

According to Miguel Ángel, the situation has since improved. "The first mid and late season plantations are doing better, as the weather has also been more favorable, but it is not yet as summery as it should be. It is still a bit cool and windy, with the occasional rainfall, so the growth of the melons has been delayed and sizes are still too small. We expect that, in terms of volume per hectare, the fruit production in general will be around 20-25% smaller, as there are fewer fruits per plant, and these are smaller."

The campaign is only just starting and perhaps it is still too early to talk about prices, although Miguel Ángel says that "there is a clear preference for tasty fruit, this being our main quality, in addition to the clarity about our objectives. For us, taste is what matters most, and therefore, we work on our exclusive varieties, such as Lililup, Okashi or Jimbee. Customers are increasingly more satisfied with a product that is praised for its unique and innovative taste.

New Lililup melon, "taste matters, and size does, too"
Since not long ago, people are again talking about taste in melons. "From the beginning, our company has had a clear commitment to taste and innovation, working with exclusive varieties and with different concepts and new formats for which size is a very important factor. Families are increasingly smaller, and this is boosting the sale of small melons and watermelons. Moreover, consumers seek to learn more about what they eat, enjoying the product to the fullest; they want it not only to be healthy, but to satisfy all their demands. That's why we have launched a new melon called Lililup this season."

"We know that there is still a lot to do; we are aware of trend changes and the preference for a healthy, tasty product, but 90% of the melon production still consists of long-life varieties, with only about 10% being traditional varieties, which are more difficult to handle," he says.

Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability
Melon packing & processing quality control / traceability

"The Liliup is a small melon, with personality; one that meets the current needs of consumers." The Lililup allows you to enjoy the taste of melons wherever you are. You can take it to the office, the gym or to school, and it can be eaten with a spoon. It has a juicy and sweet flesh and it's ideal to be consumed daily."

"The Liliup melon's production is mostly carried out in Spain in the months of June, July, August and September, but we believe that consumers want this concept available all year round. This is why we have made great progress in our production in Senegal, with tests also underway in Brazil. The Lililup will be marketed in sizes 10 and 12, in 40×30 boxes weighting between 400 g and 450 g, and between 450 g and 550 g; an ideal weight to carry around."

"Besides Lililup, we are also working on a new concept of "Mini-mini" watermelon, marketed under the brand Kisy, which weights between 600 g and 800 g and has a juicy, fresh, taste and a crunchy texture. Just like the small concepts, it allows you to enjoy it wherever you want, with countless possibilities."

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