Estonian Horticultural Association (Aiandusliit) has estimated that the losses for the nation’s strawberry growers -mostly due to the pandemic and its associated labor shortages- constitute about 60-70 percent of the harvest.
To combat this, the Ministry of Rural Affairs had promised a method for evaluating if, where and from what source strawberry growers' yield loss has derived, by the end of July. However, this has not materialised. Therefore, the ministry promises to analyse the situation next week.
Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller (EKRE) says that first of all it is necessary to figure out whether the loss arose from restricting foreign labor, as borders closed March to May ahead of the approaching strawberry harvest season, or from the weather conditions at the time.
Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce (Eesti Põllumajandus-Kaubanduskoda), Roomet Sõrmus, said that strawberry growers have sent their data to the ministry and based on this, both parties could be said to be ready to discuss the situation and consider terms of mitigation.
According to news.err.ee, there are around 100 strawberry producers in Estonia, and 16 larger companies submitted their data. An accurate sum of losses has not been calculated yet.