The Belgian tomato season got off to a rough start this year - the overlap with the Spanish season made for difficult price formations. There were also large volumes coming onto the market. In June, the situation did a complete u-turn. This was partly due to the heat and the increasing demand. “We have had a very satisfactory season up to now," says Benny Cuypers of BelOrta.
“At the moment, we have limited production. This shortage has caused prices to rise sharply. The price for loose tomatoes is between €1.30 and €1.50/kg. For TOV, it is at around €0.90/kg," says Benny. "The low supply is due to the last heatwave we had. This caused problems with the fruit setting. Later in the season, the autumn and lit cultivation started again. The acreage used for lit cultivation is still growing throughout Belgium."
Cucumbers have been through an unstable season. "We had difficult and easy times. But, in general, we can call it a correct season. Current production has dropped sharply. Farmers have stopped cultivating cucumbers and are switching to growing autumn TOV. Prices have increased. This is thanks to the combination of decreased production and good demand," explains Cuypers.
By the end of October, the large volumes will have made their way through the market. The number of available cucumbers will decrease. However, BelOrta has had cucumbers right through the winter for the past two years now. This is thanks to lit cultivation.
Bell peppers, courgettes, and aubergines
“Bell peppers also had a good season. It has become more difficult in the last weeks, though. There is more competition in the market and prices fell. The volumes will enter the market for at least another month. But, after that, the season is mostly done."
"Courgettes were the only greenhouse vegetables that had a tough season. This vegetable had an excellent growing season, so there were too many of these on the market. This surplus made for average prices. The aubergine season was reasonable, in contrast. Prices were okay, also because of the increase in acreage. But, overall, we can be very pleased with the season," concludes Benny.