Geert Baecke, Tino’s Fruit:
« Unusual asparagus demand results in one of the busiest Easters ever »
The Belgian company, Tino’s Fruit, has had a few, exceptionally hectic, weeks. « I think we had one of the busiest Easters ever, » says business manager Geert Baecke. « The weather was beautiful, everyone came out, and there was an exceptional asparagus demand. It’s always a much sought-after item at Easter, but the price dropping a bit this week means people were even more interested in them. »
The asparagus supply was somewhat delayed for a while, but now that it is becoming available, the season is in full swing. « Last week, prices were over €13, now it’s €8.65/ḱg of peeled asparagus. Their quality’s good too, so they’re flying over the counter. The supply’s reasonable, and more seem to arrive every week. We’re at 2,000 kilos a day. Next week, when it gets nice and warm, we expect masses of Dutch and Belgian asparagus. »
For this wholesaler, that marks the true switch to the local season because when spring arrives, strawberries are another top seller. « Asparagus and strawberries are the products of choice around Easter, but the nice weather entices more people to buy strawberries. They’re starting to hit the market in abundance now, so prices dropped considerably this week, » explains Geert.
« Everything’s price is dropping: tomatoes, cucumbers. However, I hope for the growers’ sake, they don’t collapse completely. Those growers haven’t earned anything over the winter; now everything’s arriving at once. They have to make money, as do we. But, if demand remains, prices should hold up. »
« Citrus is selling too. But again, when it gets warmer next week, demand will rise. People are currently more likely to grab a cup of coffee than a glass of orange juice, but when it gets warmer, that will quickly change. The only product that’s still very expensive is local raspberries. That supply’s still very limited, but I think it will increase in a few weeks. Then those will also become somewhat cheaper again, » Geert concludes.
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