Scarcity has had an impact on the entire chain
Of course the fact we are dealing with scarcity is no longer news. The newspapers and online magazines are full of it. Headlines like ‘Every day’s another challenge for vegetable processing companies’ and ‘If you’re the only one who can’t deliver, you know you’ve done something wrong, but now everyone is at their wits end’ are almost a daily feature.
And yet there is still something we’d like to add to these news flashes. This is about the fact that scarcity has had an impact on literally everyone in the chain. This is something which isn’t always made perfectly clear.
A booming business or red numbers?
It’s abundantly clear that consumers, retailers, processing companies and importers are struggling with the scarcity. The almost unique situation throughout Southern Europe, where both cold and bad weather have been experienced, with snow in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect it, has quickly translated into the problems currently being experienced by the final links in the chain. But what is actually happening at the very beginning of that chain?
As the prices for vegetables which are available are soaring, it almost seems as if though the growers are seizing the opportunity to grow their businesses. But is that actually true?
The prices didn’t go up because demand has increased, but because the supply has decreased. So is anyone actually making any money?
Virus and cold
Many of the South European and Moroccan growers have had a tough time this season. They had already suffered tremendously from losses due to viruses, then the cold weather was added into the equation as the final blow. The failure rate was therefore much higher than expected.
For example; when a grower harvests 10 tons of broccoli per hectare, he would normally expect a standard failure percentage of 5%. The current conditions means this can now easily go up as high as 15%. After all, harvesting with snow on the ground doesn’t provide good results.
The higher price paid for the vegetables which can be effectively harvested will often not cover the costs of the damage the company has suffered as a result of the high failure rate.
The scarcity therefore affects absolutely everyone and we have to do our utmost to make the best of a bad situation together.
The current situation can certainly have long-term consequences. The current forecasts tell us we will have to suffer another two months of calculating and counting to make sure we can fulfil our agreements as efficiently as possible. Of course we are also focussing on making sure everyone in the chain can get through this situation. From the grower right through to the consumer.
Our policy of sourcing from various different countries is definitely paying off under these circumstances. But these sources aren’t inexhaustible either. So far we have been able to supply virtually everything in line with the agreements entered into. We are naturally doing our utmost to ensure this is done as quietly as possible for our customers.
We can imagine you may well have questions regarding the situation surrounding your orders and deliveries. Would you like to receive regular updates, or are you in need of a short term prediction? Then please don’t hesitate to contact Jeroen van den Ende. He synchronises the situation with our suppliers in Spain, Morocco, France and the Netherlands on a daily basis.