The "yellow vests" movement is still proving disastrous for the fruit and vegetable sector. Over the past few days, the delivery of products has again been delayed. "A big part of the Paris basin is experiencing significant problems in terms of supply and quality. All products arrive 3-6 days late. The bananas that usually arrive green are already yellow, "says François Moran from Tropibana, a wholesale business located at the Rungis market. Tropibana specializes in bananas from Martinique and other exotic fruits and vegetables.
Delays create tensions with customers and suppliers. "Our suppliers sent good products, but a few days later we find ourselves with goods that do not meet our quality standards. It is still possible to sell them, but we end up with a huge margin loss," explains François. "When the market price is at 0.80 € per kilo, we have to sell at a price of 0.40 - 0.50 € per kilo. "
Customers in turn are not used to bananas of lower quality. But, "now they are beginning to understand that yellow vests are destroying the business," says François. "For two weekends, the movement has greatly affected their work."
François also has clients outside of the Paris Basin, in the provinces. "It is becoming more and more difficult to supply them. Trucks are stuck for 2-4 days. When the goods finally arrive, customers are not satisfied with the quality, even though they were sent in very good conditions. There is nothing I can do to improve this situation. "
Sweet potato prices are cut in half
In addition, conditions are difficult in the sweet potato market. "We import our products from America and the Southern Hemisphere. Before, the market was above € 1 per kilo. But now, Spanish products have arrived. Spain produces large volumes and sends a lot of goods to Europe. As a result, we had to cut the prices in half. We sell at 0.50 € per kilo. Only the variety Beauregard, which is the most marketed variety on the French market, sells at a slightly higher price: at € 0.80 per kilo. "
The situation is the same for butternut squash. "Before, South African butternut squash was sold at around 1 - 1.20 € per kilo. Now that Spanish products have arrived, they are sold between 0.55 - 0.60 € per kilo. "
Aggressive prices for bananas
Bananas from Martinique remain the most popular bananas in the Paris basin. According to François, it's a microclimate. "Parisians prefer this origin, which is better and more expensive. The banana dollar was made for promotions and sells at very low prices. The competition is strong, and at the moment prices are very aggressive. "
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