“There are no true Christmas sales this year. The demand for winter and greenhouse vegetables is calm, and the market's quiet. Nevertheless, most products' prices are normal," says Pol Dendauw of Calsa. "I don't think we can attribute the calm market to COVID-19. There are several reasons. The southern [European] countries have enough of their own product. Their prices have been lower than ours in recent weeks. The weather in the sales areas is also fairly mild for the time of year. That means winter vegetables sales aren't going as well as usual."
Vegetable supplies are at the same level as last year. "We don't have too much product, but neither do we have too little. This keeps many products' prices up. It's only cabbages that are low-priced. Leeks are a different story. Leek prices have been good since the beginning of September. They dipped slightly but have since risen again. Leek growers generally got good prices for their product. That pleases us," says Pol.
“When it comes to lettuce, Italy is currently our main competitor. They're having mild weather, so they have many lettuces. The situation might change, however. If temperatures fall sharply, the market could rapidly turn around. We hope there will be a few cold months in the new year. Then winter vegetable sales will pick up."
"But we'll have to wait and see. We will also have to wait and see how COVID-19 develops. It has not been a bad year for us. And I think our sector has fared well. That's, of course, except for the hospitality-related businesses. This also allows us to be optimistic about the new year," concludes Pol.