The December month is marked red for many growers of red currants. "December is very important for selling red currants," says Marcel van Lith, senior soft fruit seller at The Greenery. "Whereas in other years sales started to run smoothly around December 10, demand has already started to rise earlier this year. In the last two weeks, supply is very well on its way to numerous export destinations, while in other years the Sinterklaas (St Nicholas, Dec 5) week is often fairly quiet That is promising, because the Christmas sale has yet to begin! "
"Due to the heat of last summer, we have fewer berries available for storage. As a result, some companies have suffered considerable damage. This applies not only to the Netherlands, but also to growers in Germany, Belgium, France and northern Italy. The result is that the demand for our berries is also starting early in those countries," says Marcel. "Domestic demand is never that high during this period. That will increase somewhat towards Christmas, but not in proportion to the demand from our export destinations."
"The prices have also risen somewhat in recent weeks, although that does not immediately go by Euros per kilo at a time. In the coming weeks, prices traditionally rise a little further. But those higher prices are also necessary due to the higher dropout and due to the sunburn more work on the berries is required. Many bunches contain a berry that isn't good and that requires extra sorting work, so our sorting and packing stations are fully planned for the coming weeks. We will be receiving additional labour forces over the coming weeks, but it is not like we can still double the capacity. "
According to Marcel, the increase in scale in the cultivation and sorting of red berries is in full swing. "Growers are increasingly focusing on having sufficient sorting capacity available in December. This will have the effect of making it more difficult to get the price up in years with enough kilos. This year we are not bothered by that, but I do not expect the price to rise in the coming years. We will have to continue to work hard together on this, among other things by keeping sales well underway during the summer period. "