Harvest House supplied its last Dutch bell peppers last week. Marco Bergman reflects on the season. Not many of the predictions made before the season came true. "We had all sorts of scenarios in mind," he says. "But the true master planner during this last bell pepper season was the COVID-19 pandemic. We thought we were going to have a tough year, price and sales-wise. However, the coronavirus situation aided in an excellent result for all bell pepper growers in the Netherlands."
Photo credit: Harvest House
"Anxiety levels were high. That was when wholesale markets and countries went into lockdown left and right. They were hard to reach. But, fortunately, European home cooks and (re)discovered bell peppers. Retail channel sales have been great. Retailers bought a lot more packaged and unpackaged bell peppers. There were positive demand and the reasonably stable supply of bell peppers throughout the season. That's made this bell pepper season one to remember for many bell pepper producers."
"The season was, of course, fraught with many challenges," admits Marco. "But we've been able to overcome these together, both in terms of cultivation and trade. There were climate extremes and ever-increasing restrictions on the use of pesticides. This creates difficult growing conditions for growers. At Harvest House, we're glad that we can speak of a good bell pepper season. And a generally good-quality growing season."
"But, for us, bell peppers sales have not ended. This winter, we'll again be offering Tunisian peppers. Our Rainbow Growers in Tunisia cultivate these bell peppers. They come in red and yellow. They also weigh the same as the ones we have in the Dutch season. So, nobody has to miss us in the winter. From today, you can contact us as usual," Marco concludes.