Local food producers doing relatively well during pandemic in Latvia

Covid-19 limiting measures, despite support mechanisms, have a significant impact on business. But small agricultural and food-producing companies have been able to grow or even start business at that time, Latvian Television reported January 14.

In a number of sectors, such as tourism, beauty, there is no real clarity yet who will be able to recover and who will not. But agricultural and food producers and traders have survived the crisis quite differently.

“Because growth in exports has been around 5%. In fact, we can calculate this on the volume of exported grains. But positive trends are also shown by retail trade, which has fluctuated over the months within the 2-7% growth limits, with a relatively high proportion of food and local food products,” said Andra Zvirbule, dean of the Latvian University of Life Sciences and  Technologies School of Economics and Public Development.

A new business, Lāčplēšu muiža, has so much work that there is barely time for interviews.  But the owner has no regrets.

“It goes uphill  and downhill. Everything went up, then fell down, then was up again. Now it's falling down again. It's not easy. It's not easy for anyone, but nothing doing. One must simply learn from these mistakes,” said Arvils Agarskis, owner of Lāčplēšu muiiža.

The business was also extended during the pandemic by the company Viestardi in Tērvete, opening a new pizzeria. Owner Kristīne Lāce said that a number of circumstances, including nature itself, had helped to survive this difficult year.

“For the [Tērvete nature] park, the gates were not locked. You could go to the park for a walk, and there are other beautiful places in Tērvete. And the human is so arranged that he needs to eat. We don't have employees. I bake pastries and my husband only bakes pizzas because we don't have employees. I don't know how it would be if there were employees,” said Lāce.


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