The Greek Kiwifruit Harvest Kicks Off!
Greece is heading towards new records as it currently ranks fourth among widely known kiwi-exporting countries, having produced over three hundred thousand tons of the fruit annually with a constant increase and succeeding to almost double its volume since 2012. The perfect mixture of hot summers and cool winters known to the Mediterranean, help produce fruit of excellent quality and flavor. Apart from kiwis, a significant volume of apples and other fresh fruits are exported to the Middle East, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.
Demand for kiwifruits has increased as well, with consumers looking for the fruits’ rich vitamin and antioxidant qualities. To accommodate this rise in demand, Greece has acquired several new plantations over the last few years located in the Northern part of the country and volumes are expected to expand even further in the near future.
Kiwis grow on woody vines and their seasonal harvest is in full swing from mid-October to early November while the main period of export lasts from October to April from the country’s biggest ports, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki to destinations in the United States and Canada. ZIM, being one of Greece’s most consistent and prompt carriers, has had a presence of over 50 years, and is particularly known for its weekly direct service of refrigerated transports to the US-Canada trade.
Greek kiwis are considered a high-value export commodity and require special Cold Treatment facilities during transit. Since this type of cargo is set to load two days before the vessel’s arrival, the kiwis are kept and monitored in cold-storage facilities. There, they are constantly monitored for changes in temperature and storage conditions by expert technicians who manage the stuffing, temperature, and humidity levels. This enables maintaining the fruits’ harvest freshness and high-quality standards throughout the entire storage period, so that the cargo is ready to ship without delays.
More than two years into the pandemic, the global supply chain is still adapting to setbacks and facing pressures, as schedules continue to remain uncertain in parts of the world. Stamatis Coveris – ZIM Greece Commercial Manager, adds: "We offer our clients full confidence of safely handling and transporting their products to the final destination by collaborating with industry experts and professional technicians who ensure the proper stuffing of sensitive cargo. We employ our most innovated service and operate our newest ZIMonitor™, which is offered exclusively by ZIM, allowing customers to track, monitor and control the condition of the containers remotely at all times."