Latvian stores are currently brimming with imported fruits and vegetables, leaving locals wondering why their local produce is in short supply this August.
A scrutiny of the offerings in retail chains revealed a plethora of imported produce. Rimi, for instance, stocks Latvian, Italian, and Danish carrots, Italian radishes, plums from Moldova and Macedonia, and cherries from Turkey, alongside their usual selection of local tomatoes, even featuring cherry tomatoes from Morocco. Maxima stores follow suit, selling Lithuanian carrots, Dutch and Polish blueberries, Swedish potatoes, Polish radishes, and red cabbage.
So, what's causing this influx of imported goods? Inga Biete, a PR representative from Rimi Latvia, explained that although they prioritise local products during the season, this year's unstable weather severely impacted the local harvest. Spring frosts, for instance, damaged blueberry plantations, one of the major local suppliers.
Laura Bagata, the head of corporate communications at Maxima Latvija, emphasised that their retail chain always prefers local produce. However, they collaborate with partners from other countries to maintain a year-round variety of vegetables during off-peak harvest periods.
In summary, the abundance of imported fruits and vegetables in Latvian stores in August can be attributed to adverse weather conditions affecting the local harvest. It is prompting retailers to source from abroad to ensure a consistent supply of fresh produce for consumers throughout the year.