Spring frost and heat have affected the Northern European blueberry season
The Dutch blueberry season is already entering the end of the season. According to Fred Douven of abbGrowers, it was not a top year due to Corona influences and spring frost. "The night frost has hit it harder than we all thought and that actually applies to the whole of Northern Europe. The high temperatures have not done much good either. The volumes are up to 50% lower."
"The expectation is now that the season will come to an earlier end. A number of growers have almost finished picking. In a week or two, it will be over with the large volumes", the grower expects. "There have been no surpluses this season, but it did not lead to enormously high prices because the Corona crisis has also seriously disrupted sales to the catering industry and food service. Prices have therefore remained reasonably stable throughout the season and we have not had extreme prices, either up or down.
The cultivation in Serbia, where abbGrowers produces blueberries on a large scale, went well, according to Fred. "The growers are all very satisfied. The volumes and quality of the berries were good. The weather was fine, however, they did not quite have the desired size sorting. The harvest started fifteen days later than previously forecast, which led to a short and intense season. The season was over in four weeks, but we have grown 130% in volume in Serbia this year. "
The overseas season has also started. "The first containers from Peru arrived in week 32, in the middle of the European season, but due to the shortages on the market, sales continued well. Peru is now in full production and volumes are now steadily increasing. We expect 50% more product than last year, "says Fred. He is not afraid of an oversupply on the market. "The blueberry market has not yet reached its saturation point, for example there has never been a surplus from South America last year."
Fred also has a lot of confidence in the Sekoya berries Crunch and Grande, which were planted for the first time this year and of which abbGrowers has the exclusivity in the Netherlands "These blueberries, which are especially suitable for cultivation in Northern Europe, excel in taste , size, shelf life and hardness. The last two properties in particular can mean a lot for broadening global sales opportunities. In the taste panels that have been carried out, these varieties come out first as standard. "