For those who are dealing with vegetable and potato specialties from France, it is currently peak season, because on the Christmas dinner table, colorful beets and special potatoes from French soil are always popular eye-catchers. At the same time, the strikes and blockades in many parts of France are affecting the business and transport of local fresh produce to neighboring markets. The consequences are also clearly noticeable in Germany, confirms Tom Meissner, Managing Director of the trading company of the same name based in Kassel.
French product range
The uprisings in many parts of France are creating unexpected challenges for the specialized wholesaler. "In recent weeks, it has been particularly difficult to maintain needs-based, reliable deliveries. Sometimes we have to wait 2-3 days longer than planned for our goods and then in the end there might be several shipments coming in all at once. The strikes in France obviously harm all customers in Europe, not just their own country," says Meissner.
The Hessian wholesaler started a collaboration with partners on the Parisian wholesale market last year. It is complex and quite complicated to deliver this special range continuously and of excellent quality, explains Meissner. "Nonetheless, with this product segment we have been able to create a good customer base. Currently, the white and Chioggia beets and potato specialties such as truffle potatoes and the La Rate are best served by the French."
Varied lettuce specialties
In addition to the French assortment, the Hessian wholesale supplier also has a large selection of specialty lettuces from other growing areas in the assortment. According to Meissner, this segment is currently experiencing a significant growth. "Baby Leaves and prewashed salads in particular are going very strong. This summer, we switched sourcing from the Netherlands to an Italian company. The product has a very good packaging and therefore a relatively long shelf life. Due to the continuously fast sales, the goods are very fresh and we have been able to reel in many customers with this assortment. "
Regarding colorful salads (Lollo Rosso & Bionda etc.) there are some noticeable trends as well, according to Meissner. The current price situation is relatively stable and sales are about 10% above last year's levels. Especially in this segment, the strikes are having a positive effect in France. "I supply some customers who, due to the strike in France, did not want to risk waiting for the goods, therefore ordered their products from me. Because our goods are arriving throughout the week from different suppliers, we have a more reliable delivery situation as far as our customers are concerned."
In general, the businessman expects the sales to continue to grow before Christmas. Just in time for the Christmas season, the company also received the first Moro half-blood oranges from Verona on Wednesday. "Especially for a first delivery, their quality is excellent. I assume that availability and demand will increase. Especially when the week before Christmas will begin, the need for good, quality citrus is high. In my opinion, prices will tend to go down in the coming weeks."