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Prognosfruit, the Annual Apple & Pear Event


08/02/2010 ¦ News


Representatives of key apple and pear producing and exporting countries from around the world met at the recent FruitLogistica fair in Berlin for the annual general meeting of the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) on 5 February 2010. During its annual meeting WAPA re-elected Alessandro Dalpiaz (Assomela – Italy) as president of the association for the coming year. At the same occasion, Mr Kevin Moffitt (USA Pears – USA) was re-confirmed as vice-president of WAPA.


After close to 10 years of activities, the meeting looked back at past WAPA achievements and future priorities. Alessandro Dalpiaz, President of WAPA stated, “Members confirmed WAPA is well underway reaching its initial objectives in fostering the apple and pear industry worldwide, but more could be done especially as most of the challenges are perceived to be at a global level. The further promotion of the health benefits of apples and pears and diversification of the WAPA membership to other key producing countries (China, India, Turkey, ...) have been identified as key priorities.


WAPA also released in Berlin its annual consolidated crop forecasts for the forthcoming southern hemisphere apple and pear seasons. Collected from industry groups in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa, the statistics showed that the 2010 apple and pear Southern Hemisphere crops are expected to reach 5.167.000 MT and 1.397.000 MT, respectively. For apples, this represents a small increase of 1 % on the 2009 crop; forecasted export figures follow a similar trend and increase to 1.315.000 MT. For pears, a serious decrease of 12% on the 2009 crop is recorded and forecasted export figures are 9% lower at 702.000 MT. Hand in hand with the release of these data, the Northern Hemisphere apple and pear stocks were presented. European apple and pear stocks of 1 January 2010 were at respectively 3.650.000 MT and 658.000 MT, which represent respectively an increase of 5% for apples and for pears an increase of more than 50% on stocks compared to the same time last year. US stocks were 10% down to 1.552.000 MT for apples and 26% higher to 213.000 MT for pears.


Finally, participants were informed about the opportunities of the new EU framework on nutrition and health claims for the apple and pear category. After the USA, the EU is the second market to introduce such a framework and more countries are expected to adopt similar legislation. In short term a variety of nutrition claims are available for apples and pears, further follow-up is needed to see which type of generic health claims will be available. After the meeting Kevin Moffitt, Vice-President of WAPA commented, “WAPA has been doing a lot of efforts in compiling information on the health benefits of apples and pears. As the development of this type of legislation will be crucial on how we communicate these benefits in the future, WAPA will need to further invest time and resources in this area as well.”