Green asparagus is being one of the fruit and vegetable products most affected by the coronavirus crisis. The demand for them has dropped significantly due to the expansion of this pandemic and the confinement policies of each European country. In spite of everything, green asparagus producers and exporters remain active, with the product's supply being the highest in this period.
"The number of orders has dropped quite a bit, but we continue to carry out our picking and marketing activities," says José Antonio Gómez, president of the Espárrago de Granada cooperative.
"This year we started harvesting asparagus as early as February, much earlier than we normally do. Until the number of coronavirus cases in Europe skyrocketed, asparagus sales were going fairly well. Now, as consumers are confined to their homes and not buying daily, there are marked ups and downs in sales."
According to the president of this cooperative, the drop in sales is due to the fact that, "since the product is not a commodity, but rather a luxury and expensive product, consumers are choosing to fill their shopping baskets with cheaper, more basic products, such as tomatoes or potatoes."
Normally, at this time of year, there is usually enough product availability and demand as Easter approaches, since it is the best period for the sector.
"Prices are not at the levels they should be at this time, but they are not entirely bad, although we could do with more consumption. This year, we already know that our sales at Easter won't be the same. At least, the relatively low temperatures and the cloudy days have slowed the production down and we are harvesting every other day, instead of every day," says José Antonio Gómez.
"We have a good harvest this year and we are trying to sell our asparagus, since the livelihood of many families in Granada depends on them. Fortunately, Peru and Mexico are no longer present in the markets and clients prefer European products. There is also not a great supply of Italian asparagus in Europe, as Italy has been the worst hit by this pandemic and is dealing with more problems for the shipment of its products across borders, as well as with greater limitations in the availability of laborers, like other European countries," said the president of Espárrago de Granada.