This year, the carrot market has been dealt a very different hand. "Last year, there was plenty of supply," says Kees Heegsma in the Netherlands.
"Now, dry weather and shortages dominate the market. The acreage has shrunk after two bad years. There's also dry weather and parsnip virus."
"So, the early plots have meager yields. Our neighboring countries are dealing with the same thing. Currently, we generally only have a small harvest at our disposal," Kees explains.
A plot affected by the parsnip virus.
"Demand is good. The local and neighboring markets want field crops, and there are exports to Africa too. Field crop prices have risen to between €0.25 and €0.30. Growers are standing their ground this year. They haven't earned anything for two years while costs have increased tremendously. It's about time supermarkets, and buyers realize that no growers will be left if they mistreat growers and processors. It's unacceptable for supermarkets to increase their margins while suppliers can't cover their costs."
"Yet, the current situation doesn't dictate how the season will progress. Right now, carrots are scarce due to the smaller supply and the dry weather. But the storage parcels are generally in good shape. That's another story - we can only start on those in a month or two. The cooling costs of those storage carrots have skyrocketed. People are, thus, more reluctant to put their carrots in cold stores," Kees concludes.