According to the Boerenbond, the national farmers' union, Belgium's apple sector is experiencing a very tough year. It advises that local apples should be promoted, for example by making their origin labels clear in the store. “But more is needed. There should be consultation with all chain partners,” Boerenbond spokesperson Vanessa Saenen stressed.
The Belgian apple industry is struggling with low profit margins and high uncertainty. “There are rising costs for, among other things, packaging (up by 10 cents/kg), energy (refrigerator costs ,+3 cents/kg), higher wage costs (+9%), extreme weather (drought and sunburn) and disrupted sales markets," Ms. Saenen noted.
Added to that, there is "also the decreasing consumption of top fruit, which means Belgian apple growers are experiencing unprecedented heavy weather today,” she added.