The Dutch blueberry season is set to start in less than two weeks. "Most growers in the south of the Netherlands will harvest in week 26," says the Coöperatie European Blueberry Growers U.A.'s Harm Valckx. "They had night frost, mostly in mid-May. I, therefore, expect 30 to 40% lower regional production."
"The temperature of about -2ºC has been disastrous. Many of the berries froze. There will be large differences between companies. Some have no damage at all, while others have a 70% loss. The same is true for northern Germany and Poland. This has made an easy start impossible. The market is currently almost empty. The Spanish season is ending and volumes and quality aren't entirely satisfactory."
"So, there will be no shortage of demand for Dutch berries. We don't have to fear a price dip. But considering the whole of Europe, there will be sufficient product," says Harm. "You will, however, see when less product is available and the packaging shrinking. During the main season, mostly 500g is packed. Currently, this is leaning more toward 250g."
"Coöperatie European Blueberry Growers U.A. was founded last year. Berry farmers, themselves, took control of sales for the Northern European season. Fifty growers, will supply 2,500 tons of Dutch, German, Polish, and Lithuanian berries. The cooperative members' berries are packed according to client specifications. This is done by Berry Packing Services, an independent packing plant," concludes Harm.