Author Archives Simon Heather

Turkish Vine Fruit Weather Warning

Temperatures in and around Izmir in Turkey, the growing region of sultanas & raisins, reached a high of 22 degrees Celsius over the weekend. The warm weather has now been fairly well set for the last two weeks, compared to 2017 these consistent temperatures are 3 weeks early, and this has caused some of the vines to start budding. This is something we usually don’t see until the end of March or start of April. Therefore the risk of frost only increases as we go into the month but how wide spread the budding is has yet to be determined.

The one thing that is certain is that farmers & packers in Turkey will be expecting the market to firm.

date:  Mar 12, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Weather Warning
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Turkish Vine Fruit Update

Latest export and registration statistics show that the Turkish sultana/raisin crop is fast becoming increasingly tight in terms of raw material supply from farmers to packers. From 1st September 2017 to 28th February 2018 registration on the bourse (the local trade authority) was 273,000 tonnes from a crop estimation of 310,000 tonnes, meaning that only 12% of the crop remains in the hands of farmers/traders. Whilst this will undoubtedly cause some speculative panic amongst packers who will push prices up there is the softening blow that so far during the same period a total of 150,000 tonnes has been exported. Domestic market usage, including the much publicised schools project, is considered somewhere between 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes per annum. So if we consider 180,000 tonnes either exported or used for the domestic market it would leave 130,000 tonnes/42% still to be exported, which should be more just about enough to meet demand before new crop.


  Total Tonnes
2017 Crop Estimation 310,000
Bourse Registration 1/9/17 to 28/2/18 273,000
Export Quantity 1/9/17 to 28/2/18 150,000


This crop prices started to firm a bit earlier, during end November & early December, than in previous years largely down to increased enquiries as other origins suffer with poor quality and reduced crops, Iran & USA. Whilst this increase in cost, circa $250-$300 per ton, was expected as we go through January/February the fact it happened earlier has led to prices subsequently cooling down a little bit in the last 2 to 3 weeks as demand has levelled out. It’s easy to forget that a large number of manufacturers and retailers are well covered forward so the huge demand just isn’t there at this moment of the year As we move into the latter part of the month and into April we are starting to run the risk of adverse weather (frost & hail storms) affecting the vineyards and therefore most packers are just trying to keep things ticking over until they truly know where the market is.


There are two simple scenarios in terms of weather affecting pricing:


  1. If there is widespread frost & damage across the growing region then prices will rocket skywards overnight
  2. Whereas if there is no significant frost & damage then prices will likely stay very similar to today’s levels or at best they will ease off ever so slightly. Do not expect a massive fall as the worldwide supply picture is difficult presently.


The market is finely poised with farmers, packers and buyers closely watching the weather in Turkey as it decides which hand the industry will be dealt.

date:  Mar 05, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Turkish Vine Fruit Update
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Hot Cross Bun Crisis………We don’t think so

On Monday 26th February almost all national newspapers and the BBC ran stories regarding the shortage of Raisins & Currants creating an immediate shortage of Hot Cross Buns. Whilst it’s true that California has suffered a huge decrease in the overall size and quality of 2017 Raisin crop when compared to 2016 it seems to have slipped the media’s attention that almost no manufacturer uses Californian Raisins in their Hot Cross Bun production because Turkey has historically been cheaper and more readily available.

Many of the reports did state that the price of Turkish fruit has increased by 20% since September and whilst this is correct the prices are still towards the bottom end of a 6 year low (although not as cheap as last year), something none of the media outlets decided to highlight.

What they’ve also clearly neglected to mention in terms of the scaremongering when the reports moved onto Christmas Puddings & Mince Pies is that as part of the service the likes of Chelmer Foods & our competition offer is the fact that we will have sold right through until December 2018 to major manufacturers and therefore not only is the supply guaranteed but so is the price. Most Christmas puddings are made in the earlier part of the year, soaked and left to mature accordingly.

Now the one thing they did get right in their reports was the dire situation with Greek Currants, how this pricing has sky rocketed compared to last year and how manufacturers would have to look at alternative sources of supply such as South Africa & Australia. What they yet again failed to report is that a large proportion of manufacturers covered huge quantities of material at the start of the season when pricing was substantially lower than it is currently (yes pun intended) and therefore have adequate cover to see them through until 2018 crop/harvest in August/September when there is hope that they’ll be some easing on prices.

Ultimately the theme of the above is don’t believe everything you see in the media.

date:  Feb 27, 2018 comments:  Comments Off on Hot Cross Bun Crisis………We don’t think so
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More

Chelmer Foods receives BRC Accreditation

Chelmer Foods are pleased to announce that we have passed our BRC Agents and Brokers audit on Friday 23.6.17

Well done to all the Technical Team and especially to our Technical Manager Buke Weaire for all the hard work in the run up and during the audit.

date:  Jun 26, 2017 comments:  Comments Off on Chelmer Foods receives BRC Accreditation
by:  Simon Heather category:  Latest News Read More