The strawberry season is coming to an end in Poland due to the impact of heavy rains and high temperatures, which cause the fruit to rot in the fields. Although the harvest promised to be quite good, it will probably be smaller than a year ago. Last year, the CSO estimated the strawberry production at 175,000 tons.
Bożena Nosecka, from the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, told PAP that strawberries are still being bought by processing companies. Last year, the purchase of these fruits was completed by the end of June.
Processors said that they are finding it difficult to buy good quality strawberries for freezing, so they may be purchasing 30% less raw material this year. Firms are currently paying 3.7-4.0 PLN (0.83-0.89 Euro) per kilo for strawberries suitable for freezing. Last year, by the end of the buying season, prices stood at 3.9-4.2 PLN (0.87-0.94 Euro) per kg.
At the same time, the price of strawberries for juicing is similar to last year's. Processors are currently paying 2.6 PLN / kg (0.58 Euro) for them, compared to 2.7 PLN / kg (0.60 Euro) last year.
According to the president of the Strawberry Growers Association Janusz Andziak, this year was extremely unsuccessful for producers. The beginning of the season in tunnels was good and promised to be good, but the normal harvest from the open ground was "catastrophic. I think there have been huge losses. Some people did not even cover their production costs," said Andziak.