Katrien de Backer, LAVA, on Belgian greenhouse vegetable season

“Autumn is becoming a stronger period for tomatoes”

“The Belgian greenhouse vegetable season went very well this year,” says Katrien de Backer of LAVA. “However, there are noticeable differences among the crops.”
Loose tomatoes
“The area of loose tomatoes in 2017 was comparable to that of 2016. The area had some shifts. The Baron beefsteak tomato had an increase of 30 per cent, and the Prince area decreased by 15 per cent. A strong start of the season in the months of March and April regarding pricing was followed by a period with low prices from mid-May to mid-June. The better prices in autumn ensured an acceptable annual average. The current higher prices are the result of higher rates for southern products. The traditional production will continue until Christmas, and is then succeeded by winter production. We expect an expansion in winter production for next season.”

Vine tomatoes
“The national area in 2017 was 5 per cent smaller than in 2016. Pricing was similar to that of loose tomatoes. At the moment, vine tomatoes can profit from the fact that southern products are very expensive and scarce. The traditional production is reaching its end and is currently supplemented with new harvest from the autumn production. In recent years it has become more and more noticeable that autumn is a stronger period for tomatoes. The illuminated winter production in vine is starting this week. For next season, an expansion in this winter production is also planned.”
“The national area was as large this year as it was in 2016. For next year, we expect an expansion of 20 per cent. Compared to other years, strong auction prices are realised this year. This was the case for most sizes.”
“The area in 2017 was 3 per cent larger than in 2016. This is expected to remain stable next year. Compared to the last two seasons (2015 and 2016), 2017 was characterised by mediocre auction prices without major price peaks that can usually occur during the production changes. Minimum prices were reported in August.”

Bell pepper
“The area for green bell pepper was comparable to that of 2016 this year. Red bell pepper had an expansion of 15 per cent, while the areas of yellow and orange bell pepper decreased slightly. Mediocre prices were reported for all colours, without highs or lows. For next season, a decrease of 10 per cent is expected in the green bell pepper area, and for red bell pepper a decrease of 5 per cent is expected. The area of yellow and orange bell pepper will remain stable.”

For more information:
LAVA cvba 
Katrien De Backer
Leuvensesteenweg 130 A
3191 Boortmeerbeek, Belgium
Tel. +32 (0)15 50 42 54

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