4Fruit Company has started the sales for the first Spanish Bouquet watermelons from Anecoop. "We are very early, normally we start later in April, but due to the good weather in Andalusia, loading has started earlier. And I have to say it's beautifully red and doesn't taste bad at all," says Pieter de Ruiter.
"Under normal circumstances, you would load a car as quickly as possible with these temperatures. It is fine watermelon weather, but there are currently no normal conditions." the seller continues. "The availability of overseas melons from Costa Rica and Panama is still high. Fortunately, the weather is nice and the price has slightly increased to 60 cents, but there is absolutely no talk about extreme demand."
"That is not to say that prices are all bad. For example, I am surprised at the cauliflower that is currently going to 18/19 euros. Broccoli even sells between 21-24 euros and the iceberg lettuce is sold for 9-9.50 euros. Those are simply unimaginable prices. The Spanish peppers, at the end of the season, will leave for 11-12 euros. You don't normally get that anymore during this period. The entire citrus market, with lemons leading the way, is also doing very well. Only the grape sales are not that wild." Pieter sums up.
"Conditions are also extreme in Spain. There is also a shortage of labour in packing stations. Many staff report sick or are afraid to go to work. There are plenty of trucks, but drivers too few. And then we also have the upcoming days off. Who knows, but planning becomes very difficult with all the experience you have in this way. You can easily get it wrong."
All in all, the entire market is turned upside down. But the most important thing is of course that we all stay healthy, "Pieter emphasizes. The necessary measures have also been taken at 4Fruit and approximately half of the office and warehouse staff work alternately at home. "You're not sure what you are doing well, but you don't want to ever blame yourself for not doing it at all."
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