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Frits de Mooij, Vita-Verde:

"Sicilian storm limits greenhouse vegetable supply, babyleaf availability back to normal levels"

Vegetable supply is not only limited in Spain and Morocco; Italy also shares in the malaise. "Especially in Sicily and Puglia, it is problematic," says Frits de Mooij of Vita Verde from Maasdijk. "Due to a storm last week, many greenhouses in Sicily were blown away and flooded with rainwater. We were also unable to harvest and deliver cherry tomatoes and baby plum tomatoes that day."

"After that, the volumes decreased rapidly. We are now at 50% of our normal volume. And prices are extremely high by Italian standards. Because of the shortages in Spain and Morocco, we could fill the demand nicely for many customers - just like last year when Spanish aubergines were suddenly unavailable, and we could fill that gap nicely - but this year, we couldn't get it done. Unfortunately, the storm caused us to have no volumes."

"Cauliflower and broccoli were also hardly available for a long time, but fortunately, that is starting to level up again, which means we can deliver all programs again and even start planning some promos. The same goes for babyleafs, of which there was a huge shortage for the past three weeks. But that gap has passed now, and availability is back to normal. Another gap in babyleaf availability is expected in a month's time, provided temperatures go up."

"With everyone trying to fill in the gap now, there will eventually be a shortage again because product simply grows slower with these low temperatures. Now, with babyleafs in January and February, it is a well-known phenomenon that there is a shortage, but this year every product seems to be affected: now the availability of dill and parsley is a big problem again. The price shoots up immediately. Just when you think the problems are over, we have another new challenge," Frits concludes.

For more information:
Frits de Mooij
Vita Verde
Aartsdijkweg 97
2676 LE Maasdijk
Tel.: +31 (0)174 241 400

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