“Christmas was different from other years. But we can't complain," says Henk Vlaeminck of Van Dijk Foods Belgium. “We had good festive sales. Some products did better than others. There were fewer parties, so we sold fewer luxury products. The more common products compensated well for this loss, though."
“We're currently in a tough spot with Spanish products. Spain's having cold weather with lots of snow. That's reduced vegetable supplies, making them super expensive. Some products' prices have shot up by as much as 100 to 150%. Courgette prices have tripled. They were around €4,00/€4,50, but have now risen to almost €13. It's the same with bell peppers, aubergines, and other vegetables. Yesterday was also a Spanish public holiday. That means 90% of the farms were at a standstill. All this has resulted in a deficit."
Grapes are selling very well at the moment. "Demand is excellent, and the market is certainly not being oversupplied. Prices are quite high for the time of year. Nonetheless, sales are good. Most of the current grapes are from Peru. South Africa and Namibia have, however, also started," says Henk. "All varieties and colors are in demand. But the good seedless varieties are especially popular. There's even a slight shortage. As soon as the grapes arrive at port, they're as good as sold."
“Besides grapes, raspberries are also popular at the moment. There's a shortage of these too. We started with Spanish strawberries in mid-December. Spain had great autumn weather, so that was earlier than usual. The cold weather has now delayed a lot of production. Citrus fruit supplies are going well, and the situation is good for the time of year," concludes Henk.