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"Some supermarket chains have placed orders that are impossible to meet"

Large retailers in Spain increase their fruit and vegetable orders due to fear of the coronavirus

The demand for fruit and vegetables from the Region of Madrid, the Basque Country and other areas with high rates of people infected with COVID-19 (coronavirus) has increased markedly in the last 3 days since the cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health have started to skyrocket.

The most obvious case is that of Madrid, which accounts for more than half of all coronavirus infections and where even members of the Government have tested positive. The population continues to stockpile food due to fear to the virus and the online retail is collapsing because of the lack of resources to deal with such a swarm of orders. The president of the Region of Madrid has already warned that coronavirus cases will skyrocket this weekend. Large retail chains have increased their fruit and vegetable orders ahead of the weekend.

This applies to vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower in Murcia. “At the moment, although it is true that we are receiving large orders, the situation isn't out of control. Distribution chains assure that there will be a sufficient supply and that consumers shouldn't be making uncontrolled purchases,” says Sebastián Aguilar, commercial director of the Murcian company Campo de Lorca, one of the biggest broccoli and cauliflower producers.

“However, it is true that a chain that used to ask us for 6 pallets a day has asked us for 20 for this weekend. Other supermarket chains are placing orders that go beyond our capacity and are therefore impossible to meet. It is also worth keeping in mind that the broccoli and cauliflower production has been lower than usual in recent months due to the impact of the storms of October and December. It is very likely that there will be an overflow of orders. Awareness should be raised among consumers," he said.

Meanwhile, fruit and vegetable exports to the rest of Europe have so far been relatively normal, although an increase in orders could also happen in the coming days, in the event that some markets and borders are closed to products from Italy.

Faced with the fear of consumers, the largest Spanish wholesale markets, like Mercamadrid and Mercabarna, have made it clear that they will have no problem continuing to supply fresh products in the coming days. All activities continue as usual in both markets.

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