According to Gerrit de Vlieger from Groothandel Vrijders (Vrijders Wholesale), the soft fruit trade in Brussels is pretty normal right now, "Demand is not very high, and there is no oversupply, which is better for the market." Gerrit is in a transition phase with certain products, "With soft fruit I am working increasingly with imported products. Everyday now less and less supply is coming from Belgium and the Netherlands. Our raspberries are from Portugal and our blueberries are from Peru."
Soft fruit prices normal
Vrijders is always one of the first to switch over to soft fruit, "There are enough blackberries coming from the greenhouse and we will have enough domestic strawberries until the beginning of next year." According to Gerrit, in general the prices are pretty normal for this time of the year, "Strawberries prices have gone up slightly since last week." He is optimistic about the upcoming weeks, "All Saints' Day is coming up. That is a big family celebration day, with many people baking pies for the occasion. Soft fruit sales, especially strawberries, are already doing better with people preparing for this day."
Pears doing better
Gerrit also sells top fruit, "Interestingly, the domestic pear market is doing better compared to a few weeks ago. There is a lot less supply on the market. Producers are waiting. We can only wait and see now how long they keep their pears. Last year around this time many people started panicking and putting large volumes on the market. Growers are more cautious now; but there was still a lot of pears picked this year. The health of the market is highly dependent on export," concludes Gerrit.