"No crisis is a crisis for our sector, we always say. In the fruit and vegetable sector, we often have to deal with crises. The question is what repercussions this coronavirus crisis will have on our sector. I do think we are in a good industry. The decreased demand from the hospitality industry is being picked up by, for example, the supermarkets," says Kees van den Bosch of Freeland. This company is based in Emmen, the Netherlands.
Kees had not yet noticed much hoarding behavior from the company's clients last week. "There seemed to be a bit of panic on Friday. However, after I relayed prices, I heard nothing further. There is, however, a noticeable shift developing in the market. In Sweden, for example, a lot of packaged fruit and vegetables are being sold. Supermarkets' e-commerce has also made a leap."
Freeland organic pumpkins. "Thanks to the coronavirus, people are buying more pumpkins. They are healthy and easy to store," explains Kees.
"We are in a bit of an in-between phase with onions. There is some demand from Europe. But, not so much that we cannot handle the work. We can stay nice and busy with the importing of pumpkins, spring onions, and imported onions. We are expecting a decent package of import onions from Egypt in the coming month," says Van den Bosch.
"Furthermore, in full soil vegetables, we see that the price for Spanish iceberg lettuce is low. It is at a level of between €4 and €4,50. It seems that it all grew fast and was then over in Spain. There are delays in planting in the Netherlands, due to the wetness. That means a gap could very well form. There are quality problems with carrots too. So, you should avoid these as much as possible. You could fall flat on your face. In contrast, leeks are of excellent quality. Their prices are, however, high," Kees concludes.