Gerrit de Vlieger, Groothandel Vrijders

"In Belgium, the corona crisis barely affected soft fruit, except red currants"

The coronavirus outbreak means Vrijders Wholesalers' sales dropped by ten to 15%. But things are still going well, according to Gerrit de Vlieger. "Some clients buy more, others less. I was, however, expecting it to be worse." According to the Belgian trader, apples and pears have fared well in recent months. Prices are higher than last year. But, that is not affecting sales. "At last, growers could earn a little from their products."

"In contrast, soft fruit is struggling a bit more. Much of it goes to the hospitality industry and market vendors. Red currants are the biggest problem. About 80% of this goes to hospitality businesses, so you feel it. These businesses also usually take the raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Enough also gets taken by store owners, though."

"There is enough soft fruit on the market to meet demand. But there is definitely no surplus. Prices are, therefore, at a normal level for this time of year. We expected the crisis to greatly affect raspberries too. But, things are actually going quite well," says Gerrit.

Vrijders has remained completely open, despite the crisis. "There were fewer people at the market, but we could continue through as normal. People have adjusted well by ordering more via email, Whatsapp, and phone. A lot is already being ordered through these channels. This will just increase now. Real market trading is actually already a thing of the past. Is it, however, important to see the product before you buy it. So, for us, as a market wholesaler, it is important to devise ideas along with our clients," concludes Gerrit.

For more information:
Gerrit de Vlieger
Tel: +32 (0) 475 366 144

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