"The Spanish vegetable season had a slow and difficult start this year, as the weather in southern Spain quickly became autumn like, with a good number of weeks of rain. This considerably disrupted the start of the production," says Stephan van Marrewijk, who works in the commercial department of the Vicasol cooperative, which represents some 900 members with a combined acreage of around 1,800 hectares of greenhouse vegetables.
"On top of that, northern Europe continued to produce its own crops for longer, which was actually not expected, given this year's warm summer, which led people to think production would actually stop earlier," says Stephan. "In Spain, the production of cucumbers and sweet peppers in particular was a little smaller, which had a favorable impact on the market price. The volumes did get off the ground at the end of November, causing the necessary market tension."
"The weekly volumes vary enormously per week. Because of the bad weather, a number of growers have had poorer results than normal. Now the weather is cold again, but with a little sunshine, things will get on track again and the larger volume will coincide with the Christmas sales period," says Stephan, who has been working at Vicasol for over ten years.
"The acreage in the Netherlands has grown, especially that of tomatoes, which may result in a competitive environment with some varieties. All in all, we expect a good harvest and sales at Christmas and New Year and we are ready to continue working at the same level in January and February," concludes van Marrewijk.