Until Wednesday morning, French strawberries were among the products that were the most affected by the effects of the health crisis. In these peculiar times, consumers had turned away from some seasonal products in favor of storable goods, leaving strawberry farmers unable to sell their products. But it seems that, once again, the situation has suddenly turned around.
“The strawberry market drastically bounced back on Wednesday. While in the morning, we still could not sell our producers’ strawberries, we ran out of them just a few hours later. With the pressure from interprofessional organizations, distributors ordered French strawberries again. So within a few hours, the market completely turned around. On Wednesday, we were out of strawberries, while the week before, we were selling them at the same price we had bought them from the producers so as not to penalize them. We are very relieved by this reversal of the situation, because we were really starting to worry for our producers. We will really be able to see if the effects of this reversal are significant or not in the coming week,” explains Eric Tastayre, manager of Apifood.
“Our sales remain regular”
After this frenzy in sales, Eric claims that he has not seen any decrease in activity yet, like in Italy, as he feared. “The market is calmer. The rhythm is now relatively normal with regular sales. Only the sales of Lovita plums, which we wanted to test on the market this year with our partner producers from South Africa, have gone down drastically. Just like all products which are not considered to be ‘necessities’, and are not high turnover references in supermarkets.”
“The supply of Rocha pears from Portugal is decreasing, which is normal at the end of the season since only a few operators still have some stocks. Thanks to the great technical expertise of our producers in terms of conservation, we are able to offer Rocha pears longer than most operators on the market. But generally speaking, for our range of products, the supply remains regular. The closure of markets penalizes us less than others because we sell a lot to supermarkets. Besides, we have made additional arrangements since everybody is now teleworking. Only the three of us partners are at the office. As for the quality controllers, they travel as little as possible and we are glad that we have not had to resort to technical unemployment yet.”
“We are playing it by ear, not knowing what tomorrow will bring,” explains Eric. “But for the moment, everything seems to be quite organized. It could be that after the wave of panic and period of adaptation, people are slowly getting back to their normal eating habits again. We feel for those whose activities have stopped, but for now, we are not really feeling the effects of the crisis.”