What awaits Ukrainian producers of berries this season?


What awaits Ukrainian producers of berries this season?

03/27/2020

Closing wholesale and retail markets will negatively affect berry producers

Most Ukrainian berry producers believe that the current season will be rather difficult for most participants in the Ukrainian berry market. The experts of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association (UPRA) found out how the spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19 and the quarantine regime in the country will affect domestic producers.

Already, blueberry producers are predicting that a reduction in the yield of this berry is expected in 2020. First of all, an abnormally warm winter will affect the decrease in gross harvest, since part of the bushes began to bloom in November-December. This was reported on his Facebook page Yaroslav Molchun, co-owner of the berry farm “Ozyeryana”.

“Another factor that will negatively affect producers of berries is the closure of wholesale and retail markets. Most of the berries in Ukraine are sold through the markets, the closure of which can turn into a catastrophe, primarily for those who grow strawberries (strawberries). And the extension of quarantine in Ukraine does not add optimism to manufacturers, ”notes Andrey Yarmak, Economist, Investment Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Demand for fresh berries is already significantly reduced. In quarantine conditions, consumers try to visit retail chains as little as possible, so the sale of products that quickly deteriorate is reduced. Now more and more people prefer fruits such as apples and citrus fruits, which can be stored at home for more than a week.

See also: Closing markets during the fresh berry season will lead to a critical situation in the industry – opinion

Most market participants say that it is almost impossible to predict the further development of the situation.

“Now it is impossible to predict the further development of events, since the situation with the spread of coronavirus and the introduction of new quarantine measures is developing extremely rapidly and unpredictably. For example, our partners from France announced that they are ready to resume cooperation from mid-April. However, despite the fact that coronavirus is actively spreading in the EU as a whole, and in France in particular, there are already doubts that such a development is possible, ”says the owner of S.B. Frozen Food and the chief investment adviser of the UPOA Andrey Zhukov.

Moreover, UPOA experts are convinced that even the removal of quarantine measures will not help immediately restore the sale of fresh berries.

“It is already known that quarantine in Ukraine has been extended until April 24 of this year. Despite this decision, even if quarantine measures are not renewed again (which is quite possible), most consumers will simply not have time to buy fresh berries. It is worth remembering that the current situation has seriously affected the incomes of the population, which will significantly affect the decrease in the purchasing power of most consumers. And fresh berries cannot be considered cheap products, ”notes Katerina Zvereva, Development Director

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