Wet Winter Means Bigger, Juicier Summer Dates

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli medjool dates. (Nati Shohat/Flash90 )

This year’s date crop is bigger and better than ever – 25% bigger than average, according to industry experts. That’s good news for date lovers around the world; Israel supplies some 60% of the Medjool dates sold around the world. Israeli dates are popular in the Arab world as well, industry officials said.

The bigger crop this year is the result of the very wet winter Israel went through this year. Some 40,000 tons of Medjool dates are grown here, spread along about 6,000 dunams of land, much of it in the Arava region. Industry officials told Globes that they expect to increase the amount grown in Israel to 100,000 tons. Currently, the world market for Medjool dates is about 50,000 tons. Medjool dates are  considered the top variety of dates, and provides 75% of dates eaten in Israel.

Oren Korin, head of the Western Arava Agricultural Association, said “we are witnesses to the development of the western Arava in the area of dates. Dates are [in] demand all over the world, as they play an important role in many traditions, and they have become more popular as part of the trend towards healthier eating. Dates also have a long shelf life and can be stored for an extended period of time,” he said.