At Berrybrothers, the Dutch redcurrant market begins in mid-May. Then they harvest the first of these berries from their greenhouses. The first Rovadas have now been picked too. "The berries look good, and we expect an excellent harvest. Last year, we had quite a lot of loss due to the heat," says Nijs van Zuilen.
But, this year, things seem to be going well. There are lovely, full bunches." Earlier this year, redcurrant sales dropped sharply. That was because of the corona crisis. "Sales to the foodservice sector stopped. That made the Chilean season particularly difficult. Demand has now picked up again. Sales are at the same level as last year."
Berrybrothers cultivation site in Roggel, the Netherlands
This year's blueberry harvest is significantly lower. "We're dealing with the aftermath of May's frost. For example, one of our late varieties was almost entirely destroyed. The harvest will be about 30 to 40% lower in total," estimates Nijs. "We will have to wait and see how the market develops further. There are usually large volumes in weeks 29 to 31. Everyone wants to have promotions. But the current market's still a little unsure. The blueberry market has grown substantially. No-one has a total overview anymore. That wasn't the case a few years ago."
Nijs with the first full box of the Rovada redcurrant variety.
"Raspberry sales are going well at the moment. There's good demand from various countries. There's certainly high demand for a variety like Kwanza. With raspberries, there's, however, a trend that sees quality becoming increasingly important. Some countries were always more price-conscious. They're now moving more toward high-quality fruit with a good shelf life. This variety has made for more pressure from supply from Southern Europe. But, that's an entirely different price ratio," explains van Zuilen.
According to the trader, the blackberry market remains very erratic, as always. "Two, three weeks ago, the market really bottomed out. But, it's since become more balanced. There's, however, no way to predict how the blackberry market will develop. This year we also had black currants available. That hasn't been the case in other years. They were very well received. We're now harvesting the first white currants too," Nijs concludes.