The Dutch greenhouse vegetable season hasn't been easy for anyone. "There have been quite a few differences between companies this season," says Arie Middelburg of GreenMatch, a company that focuses on data and advice in sales. “Generally speaking, pricing has been very good, but due to the very hot summer temperature peaks and quality and production problems, it wasn't such a good season for anyone. Aubergines are an exception to good pricing, they have been worth considerably less."
Cucumbers: revitalised after a bad start
"The cucumber market was dramatic until June, but after that, there was some sort of revitalisation during the summer period," explains Arie. “Because of the fantastic hot weather, the price formation finally reached a good level. Those first hot days in June have not always done well in Europe. Partly due to the warm summer weather, consumption has also been quite high. The summer period July and August has therefore made a great deal of good. In the end, it all came together, although it is not comparable with the extremely good year of 2018. Partly due to the good spring, the prices were relatively higher at that time. In that respect, the cucumber season is not so bad this year," he concludes.
Aubergines: disappointing season with low prices
The aubergines have had a lean year according to Arie. “There was a lot of competition from Spain and quite a lot of acreage in the Benelux. As a result, there was always more than enough product on the market without real scarcity. In the early autumn, fierce competition from Spain also started, which made it hard to profit from this frequently better than expected period.
Tomatoes: better summer prices than in previous years
Almost traditionally, Arie saw last season that the tomatoes were a bit disappointing in terms of poor pricing. “The season of loose and vine tomatoes was once again not good in the spring. There was less production but that did not lead to better prices. The weather was so bad in the spring that consumption wasn't encouraged, just like with the cucumbers. In addition, we have of course also had to deal with quite a lot of competition from Southern Europe, which led to very moderate prices until the end of May. From June onwards, however, tomatoes were better and better on average, including compared to previous years, with much better summer prices thereafter than in recent years. This improvement from the summer has led to a good result until close to the end of the season. The season of the vine tomatoes is coming to an end. We are now in the tail end of conventional crops, which is a bit longer in some than in others. The cultivation of loose round tomatoes is now completely over."
Peppers: the weather was in charge and caused big differences
“The pepper market was incredibly good this year, only the last two months were disappointing, especially with red varieties. The green peppers have been under a little more pressure, but the pepper season, in general, has gone very well, perhaps against expectations. The productions were not that great this year and that makes a difference in availability. We mainly saw better results for red, yellow and orange."
However, the differences on the pepper market are quite big, Arie notes. “The prices have been very nice, but the productions and quality were less good here and there. Several companies have suffered considerably from the weather, due to the three hot periods this summer. The weather was and still is often in charge, not only in terms of the market (prices) but also in terms of cultivation and productions.”
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