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Sil Moonen, Berryfarm.nl:

“We hope for good end to blueberry season after disappointing summer”

Blueberry grower Sil Moonen was optimistic at the start of the season, but now he looks back on the season with mixed feelings. “Summer didn’t bring what it was supposed to. We had little sun, and consumers immediately respond to that. Sales in supermarkets were disappointing because of that, and total sales didn’t pick up. The situation is identical to three years ago.”

As a consequence, the grower now has an even larger volume in storage for selling than was initially thought. “Despite the night frost it was a very productive fruit year. We pick for the cold store especially, and traditionally we’re the last in the Netherlands to supply berries, so we’ve got our work cut out for us in the coming month. But I think cold store builders are doing well, because many growers have expanded, and when they have a cold store, they’re often filled with berries. This is in part due to prices dropping below a certain level in summer, so that growers tend to store them in CA cells. This could be partially prevented by a minimum guarantee price from major retailers for Dutch product. Because of this, Dutch shops mostly carry Polish product throughout the summer.”

"We stopped picking the Aurora variety in the north on 29 September. The influence of South American berries on our late season is large. For certain supermarket chains, ‘new harvest’ sounds better, and because of that, they’ll sooner switch to product from the Southern Hemisphere. I don’t know what ‘new season’ and ‘fresh’ means for berries that are in transit for four weeks. 

The first Argentinian berries aren’t anything to write home about, qualitatively. Hopefully, the boats will be a bit delayed, so that we can meet demand with local berries in October, which are better for the environment than air cargo or boat berries, at any rate.” 

For more information:
Sil Moonen
Mortel 27
6088 AH Roggel
T: +31 (0)475 494 727
F: +31 (0)475 491 461
M:+31 (0)6 532 88 523

Publication date: 10/2/2017


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