Vegetable prices plunge

Compared with the same period in 2013, this year prices for many vegetables have fallen by 30-50%, Mūsmājas dārzeņi cooperative board chair Edīte Strazdiņa told Latvian Public Radio (LR) Tuesday.

The price drop has been especially sharp for potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbages and beets, but cucumbers and tomatoes have also reduced in price markedly.

Moreover, due to the hot summer’s unexpectedly large harvests of cauliflower and squash, the growers’ group leader said the market is “very saturated.” She called the 30-50% price slide “a tragic situation for vegetable growers.”

“It means – we’re not going to be talking about growth or profits this year. We’re talking about survival, paying off credits and bills.”

By the same token, Strazdiņa lauded Latvia’s consumers for their loyalty and understanding, as the nation’s markets remain active.

“The vegetables are being eaten, people are consuming. And our shoppers are very understanding and supportive on this issue. If it goes on like this, the crisis will be much easier to bear, and we’ll preserve our market,” she told LR.

As reported, the European Commission (EC) came out Monday with exceptional support measures earmarked at €125m for European Union (EU) producers of perishable fruits and vegetables in light of Russia’s embargo on imports of agricultural products from the EU.

Meanwhile, referring to the portion of the EC aid package possibly available to Latvian growers, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told Latvian Independent Television (LNT) news program 900 sekundes Tuesday that “the figures have been sketched in, but it would be premature to release the numbers before we know what will happen from the EC,” reported national information agency LETA.

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Economy
Economy