The Department of Agrarian Economy of COAG has published a report on the first half of the stone fruit campaign, which highlights the effects of the new strategy of large distribution chains: cheaper fruit for the consumer, ruinous prices for the producer, and profits for intermediaries and large stores.
According to David Borda, head of the sweet fruit sector at COAG, the new strategy of distribution chains consists in offering “cheaper fruit since the beginning of the summer campaign (May) in order to set the trend for the following months and easily take market share away from traditional fresh produce traders."
The data in the field show the impact of this strategy. In the case of peaches, starting prices in May were 43% lower than the average of the 2013-2018 period, and for nectarines, they were 47% lower. This is due to "the huge purchasing centers of the European distributors exerting a greater pressure on prices, keeping them down by maintaining the levels of tropical fruit imports and their presence on the shelves in the key weeks when Spain's first batches hit the market,” said Borda.
According to official data, published on August 13, so far in the campaign (May-July) prices at origin have fallen below the average of the same months in the 2013-2018 campaigns, (-26% in peaches and -27% in nectarines), while costs have grown, especially in terms of labor.