Rainfall in Kenya, extreme demand for pods and sugar snaps during the first period after the Corona measures; there are plenty challenges for FV Seleqt. But they are currently nothing compared to the limited air freight capacity. "The price of air freight is very high. Every day it is a surprise - what will fly, with what volume and at what price," says commercial manager William Sonneveld.
"Fortunately, our partner growers and our own farm that we work with have arranged their affairs well, but it is a challenge every day to meet the demand. Fortunately, this works well in the retail programs, but it is a race every day I think of it as juggling ten balls in the air every day and you are very happy when you catch nine," says William. "Fortunately, supermarkets do understand the situation, but you still want to keep to your fixed agreements."
In the second week of March, he experienced the first impact of the Corona crisis when retail customers started hoarding. "The season for pods and sugar snaps from Guatemala is currently coming to an end. By accident, fortunately, our growers from Zimbabwe started the season earlier than expected. Normally this is around week 18, this year we got the first product in week 15. The prices are at a high level. Especially in the last two weeks, the prices of the pods and sugar snaps have risen sharply. "
Damage from rain in Kenya
"The growers from Guatemala have had a successful cultivation season. The start was a little later, but once it kicked off it continued well. I only fear that the last five weeks have been a damper for the growers, because they lacked airfreight capacity and were unable to export the volumes they had hoped for," said William. "I am hopeful that more capacity will be available again in May, but we will definitely feel the effects until September."
In addition, the supply of Kenyan legumes is also lagging due to the rainy season. "That is fairly making a dent. The infrastructure has suffered a lot of damage. As a result, the quality and availability are also under pressure and there are many delays," said William. Thanks to the joint venture between the Best Fresh Group and Flamingo Horticulture, FV Seleqt has access to an area of 1,800 hectares in Kenya, which are 40% planted with legumes.