“When I arrived in Almería 34 years ago, exports often stopped around the end of May and started again sometime in October. For a number of years now, greenhouse vegetable exports from Almería have continued for all twelve months a year,” says Kees Havenaar of Frutas Luna. “Large cooperatives can no longer stop doing this. It costs them too much to shut things down for a while. And there is also an increasing demand for year-round contracts.”
“At Frutas Luna we always try to do something in the summer months, but that does not always work. Only if there is a gap in the Dutch supply, and that is the case at the moment. The first applications for aubergines and peppers arrived at the end of August and that has gone well so far The prices are good for the time of year, although I feel peppers may almost be done now. Nonetheless, 1.20 Euro per kilo is not bad and neither is 1.05-1.15 Euro per kilo for aubergines,” says Kees.
“The demand for cucumbers has suddenly taken a good turn recently. A grower who has cucumbers at the moment is rubbing their hands at a price of more than 1 Euro per kilo today. If this continues for another two weeks, they will have great profits. From our growers I am hearing that they will only be able to start in two weeks, so those growers who already have cucumbers will have run out of product,” according to the exporter. “The price of aubergines is currently high because everything is happening at once, the Netherlands is in a dip and they have just started the season in Spain. I find that slightly fewer aubergines have been planted and that seems to be the case with cucumbers too.”
“Peppers are much along the same lines. They are expensive at the moment because the Netherlands has less coarse peppers due to the heat. The peppers from the El Ejido and Roquetas corner will only start producing in more than a month and the peppers that are coming from Almería at the moment are almost all from Berja. In general, slightly more peppers have been planted, but more spread out, and the somewhat later peppers have problems with setting. Who knows, it might be a good autumn in peppers,” says Kees.
“As far as the other vegetables are concerned, I don’t hear much different. There may be slightly fewer tomatoes due to the major problems related to the virus pressure in previous years, although I have heard few worrying reports this year. Everything also seems to be under control with the bell peppers. We as Frutas Luna are completely ready for it again. All our own brands, such as Luna, King’s and Classico are available again. That also applies to our organic department! “