Berry business can seriously suffer from coronavirus

Berry business can seriously suffer from coronavirus


If quarantine is not canceled, then producers of berries may have difficulties with the sale of products

EastFruit analysts draw the attention of participants in the berry business of Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Georgia and other countries of the region to possible difficulties with the sale of products if quarantine is not canceled.

“The experience of Italy shows that in times of strict quarantine, sales of perishable products are reduced. Since people try to leave their homes less often and visit retail outlets, sales of such perishable goods as garden strawberries are already sharply declining. Instead of wild strawberries, consumers in Italy prefer to buy more citrus fruits, apples and other products that can be stored for a week or more at home. At the same time, a decrease in prices does not have a significant effect on sales promotion, since in this case the key reason for the decline in demand is a completely different factor. Nevertheless, Italian farmers still lower prices, because export shipments are also difficult, given the serious problems with logistics, ”said Andrei Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The expert also notes that the situation in Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe with sales of berries may be even worse than in Italy due to the nature of retail trade.

“According to various estimates, sales of strawberry garden in Ukraine and Moldova through supermarket chains and retail stores barely exceed 4-5% of sales, and in Georgia – even less. In Italy, through supermarkets and other forms of organized retail, more than 60-70% of all berries are sold. The prohibition of the retail markets in some regions of Ukraine can be a real disaster for the sale of fresh berries, and this can affect, first of all, strawberries, if the quarantine lasts until the start of the season, ”said Andrei Yarmak.

See also: Harvest, quarantine, marketing, export – the main challenges for Ukrainian producers of berries

As for the berries for freezing, there can be certain problems. The fact is that in the past season, many freezers in Ukraine overestimated the market size and the pricing prospects for frozen strawberry garden. The increase in shipments of frozen strawberry garden to the EU from North Africa led to lower prices and market stagnation. Therefore, even now, some frosts have unsold berry leftovers from 2019. Therefore, it is possible that the price of berries for freezing will not be very high. And if the supply in the fresh market also decreases, and the supply of berries for processing increases, then the prices may decrease even more significantly.

“Do not forget about the decline in incomes that have already occurred as a result of a sharp decline in business activity. Berries are not a key and indispensable product for a poor consumer, which means that their consumption will almost certainly decrease. Even if by the time harvesting of honeysuckle, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries is removed, quarantine will be canceled, then the purchasing power of the population will be significantly lower than in 2019. And this factor will also put significant pressure on prices, ”the FAO economist predicts.

Recall that tomorrow, March 26, Andrei Yarmak will take part in the online webinar “How are agribusiness rules changing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine”, which will be held by the agro-media agency During the webinar, you will hear practical advice and forecasts regarding the further development of the situation from Andrei Yarmak and the owner of the fruit and vegetable company S.B. Frozen Foods by Andrei Zhukov.

The start of the online webinar on March 26 at 11.00 (Kiev time).

Full webinar information can be found here. Participation in the online webinar is free, subject to pre-registration. The number of participants is limited.

Registration is open until 18:00 on March 25 at the link.


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