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Biggest vegetable crisis in 40 years will hit Romania

Romania will face massive increases in food prices this autumn. "It will be an unprecedented situation. Food prices will not just grow by 5-10%, but by percentages that we cannot even think of now. Not only will vegetables be more expensive, but many won't even be available in the market. The demand will be very high in all countries and the supply will be insufficient," said Tudor Dorobanţu, general secretary of the Federation of Agricultural Trade Unions TERRA, adding that Romania is totally dependent on fruit and vegetable imports in the cold season and these will become very expensive, no matter where they come from. "The high demand will also increase the prices of products from Turkey and the Middle East. No matter where the suppliers are based, the goods will be much more expensive," said Dorobantu. 

Leguminous crops destroyed up to 50% 
The extremely dry weather that hit Central and Western Europe this summer, as well as the floods in the southeast of the continent, has caused the worst vegetable crisis in the past 40 years, according to the European Association of Fruit and Vegetable Processors (PROFEL).

"Because of the very hot and dry weather recorded throughout July in most parts of the continent, vegetable crops have been greatly affected and yields have fallen sharply. Today's situation is the most serious of the past 40 years," said Profel representatives, quoted by Euractiv.com. According to the cited source, the EU countries most affected by the dry weather are France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary and Poland.

The association announced that the frozen and preserved vegetables sector is the most affected, as the losses in the field have led to reduced and irregular deliveries of fresh vegetables to processing plants. This entails higher production costs and a reduced volume of processed products.

Romania, which faced serious floods in the first two months of summer, when it rained almost continuously, will certainly feel the impact of the Western European vegetable crisis from this autumn. Fresh, frozen or canned food prices will increase considerably, as most of the vegetables and fruits are imported from the Netherlands and Hungary, both affected by the extreme weather this summer. 

According to PROFEL, 2018 is the third consecutive year in which the vegetable sector has been hit by serious weather issues. The most affected crops are peas and beans, where the extent of the losses oscillates between 20% and 50%.

"In some southern European production regions, the first bean harvest was also affected by strong storms (floods and hail). Onion yields have fallen by 15 to 50%, and courgettes and spinach are also affected. In many regions, harvesting spinach, beans or cauliflower crops was impossible due to the drought," said PROFEL. In the Netherlands, the drought dried up rivers and destroyed crops, especially maize and potatoes. As a result, this year's potatoes will be much smaller than usual, warned the producers.

The extreme dry weather has raised concerns in Brussels, where the European Commission (EC) has decided to take action to help producers cope with its impact. Given the serious situation faced by European drought-stricken farmers, the EC has decided to assist the affected Member States by derogating the greening requirements and by granting direct and rural development payments in advance.



Publication date: 8/10/2018


 


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