This winter has surprised even an experienced specialist like Miguel Gonzalez of the Dutch company MG Fruit. "These sky-high prices, and for such a long time, are insane. That includes Spanish strawberries. I don't think I've ever experienced a shortage of these strawberries in late February. But Huelva's night temperatures are currently around freezing, and Spanish strawberries easily sell for €5/kilo," he says.
"The vegetable supply, too, remains limited. Somewhat more product may be coming loose, but heaps of trade certainly aren't coming this way yet. The supply of, for example, Dutch and Belgian cucumbers is slowly increasing, especially with these light-filled days. That's providing some market relief."
"Prices are still sky-high. Round tomatoes, for instance, are selling for €17, red bell peppers for €20 to €21, yellow peppers for €12, and green ones for €14. Open-field vegetable prices are also high. You can pay €14 for a box of iceberg lettuce just like that," Miguel explains. "That naturally affects sales. With these prices, customers obviously think twice. That's, however, not such a problem now because there's little product available."
"It's sometimes said growers always complain that prices are never high enough. But, with these prices, there are no complaints from Spain. Of course, the condition is they have produce, and with these prices, growers are trying to get the most out of their plants. They're picking anything that looks like a product. Growers are, thus, going on for longer, which may well affect melon plantings that would otherwise start during this period," Miguel concludes.
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