The Europe-wide drought and the parsnip yellow fleck virus impact are already causing shortages on the carrot market. "It remains to be seen how supplies will develop in the coming weeks," says Ronald Gielleit of the Dutch company, Top Fresh Handel. "Last week, it rained again all over Europe. That's too late for many products like potatoes and onions, but the carrot harvest peaks in October, so plenty could still happen."
"Prices are reasonable. Standard carrots are selling for around €0.26 and organic ones for between €.30 and €0.34. I think there'll be some pressure on the market soon from growers who want to sell off-land rather than pay expensive refrigeration prices, with all the associated risks. But, hopefully, prices will remain good."
"We're currently selling most of our conventional carrots to Belgium, with lots of washed carrots going to Africa. We also have some organic sales to Germany. Last year, stored organic carrots were of particularly disappointing quality. The carrots we're harvesting now look much better," explains Ronald. Organic carrot acreage growth has stagnated, which the trader says is a good thing. "If everything grows well, we'll have far too many organic products."
A new development is that this season, for the first time, Top Fresh is supplying organic carrots bushels, at the request of a Belgian client. "We've bought special machinery for this and are harvesting these carrots twice a week. Demand is good, and we expect to expand sales further in the coming years," Ronald concludes.