The Norwegian strawberry season, which is nearing its end, was complicated this year by a shortage of seasonal workers and the weather. Due to the heat at the beginning of the season, the strawberries ripened faster than they could be picked: many pickers were also quarantined. As a result, strawberry cultivation has fallen by about 30 percent this year.
Because there were fewer strawberries and growers faced higher costs due to the corona crisis, the strawberries were much more expensive than usual. In addition, again the weather played a major role: later in the season, many strawberries were not big enough to sell to the shops, which in turn meant less income for the growers.
Now the season is almost over, because the strawberries are running out. Grower John Elling Vereide sells his strawberries himself from his car in the local market square. When he arrives, a long line quickly forms: “When people see my car, the queue starts to form. There simply aren't enough strawberries for everyone this year. It's one of the weirdest seasons I've ever experienced. I think I have strawberries for a few weeks, but after that it is ready. There is still hope, but you should not wait until the end of the holiday. ”
Growers want to state the type and place of harvest on boxes
Gartnerhallen is talking to wholesaler Bama about how the boxes in which strawberries are sold can be better noticed. According to the rules, the crates in which the strawberries are delivered to the supermarket must be marked with information about the type, grower and date of picking. But often this is not marked on the loose boxes, so customers can not see where the strawberries come from or what type it is. Strawberry grower Simen Myhrene would like to see this change: “I would like customers to see all the information. Then they can give feedback on which types they like or dislike and so we can better adapt our cultivation to the wishes of the customer. ”
Pia Gulbrandsen, communications director at Bama, does not rule out changes, but the final solution has not yet been found: “If a grower harvests less than planned, the boxes will be used by another grower. So it would lead to a lot of waste if the packaging is adapted to each grower and / or type. We are talking to Gartnerhallen and one of the solutions is that growers themselves mark their boxes if they want, but that means extra work for growers. We will see what we arrive at together. ”