Michel van den Berg, De Best AGF:

"The cold weather discourages market vendors and hospitality sector buyers"

"This winter was a tough one for fruit and vegetable wholesalers," says Michel van den Berg of De Best AGF, a Dutch wholesaler. "For smooth sales, it's been too cold for too long. That discourages people from going to the market or eateries, and that's where all our business lies. People would rather visit the supermarket. Our customers are mainly market vendors, restaurants, and stores. They have to rely on impulse buys. And the weather dictates sales."

"Things have been strange recently. Everyone knew the situation with Dutch lit cultivation, but no one could've predicted it would become so extreme. The cold weather in Spain caused huge shortages and especially sky-high prices. Those high prices mean you still get your turnover but sell much less. There were weeks when cauliflower cost €20 and cucumbers €1.30 or €1.40 each. That doesn't happen very often. We could get our goods, but with these prices, it's hard to sell anything at the markets," says Michel.

"The entire soft fruit package was limited too, from strawberries to raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Clients who usually take six boxes of raspberries were taking one. But that tide's turning somewhat. Cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, and broccoli prices have already normalized. Only bell peppers are still expensive. That's because there are hardly any Dutch ones left, and there's less Spanish supply. But that too will soon be remedied once the Dutch crop gets going."

"During the winter, everyone in the market was generally in survival mode. So, we're hoping for a nice summer in which we can earn some money again. I'm sure that will happen when the temperatures start rising," Michel concludes.

For more information:
Michel van den Berg
De Best AGF
Tel: +31 (0) 623 728 028
Email: michelvdberg1@live.nl

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