North Rhine-Westphalia: High costs, low prices: complaints about the strawberry harvest

If you have strawberries in your garden, you should be happy about their taste and size this year.

North Rhine-Westphalia: High costs, low prices: complaints about the strawberry harvest

If you have strawberries in your garden, you should be happy about their taste and size this year. Reason: the relatively good weather. Farmers still get in a bad mood when it comes to strawberry harvest. Some go to extremes.

Münster (dpa / lnw) - The sale of strawberries has become such a bad business for many farmers this year that some of them forego the harvest and chop the fields. The costs are high and the price low, so the harvest is not worthwhile in some places, said Bernhard Rüb on Friday from the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture.

One reason for the price drop is the sunny and relatively dry weather of the past few weeks: "The strawberries have grown so well that the crop yield is very high - the supply is large, but the demand is low," said Rüb. The WDR had previously reported on the difficult situation among strawberry farmers.

Industry expert Rüb attributes the weak demand to the effects of inflation, among other things: everyday life has become so expensive for people that they do without certain foods - such as buying strawberries. Another reason Rüb refers to is the corona pandemic: “In the past two years, many city dwellers have gone to the countryside to buy strawberries in farm shops or at the market.” But that boom is over now. This is also due to the high fuel prices - as a result, many citizens wanted to use their cars as little as possible. "The trip to the country, where strawberries are also bought, will then be omitted," said Rüb.

There are no figures for strawberry fields that are not harvested at all - it should only be a small area overall. On social media, citizens expressed their incomprehension for such an approach. "In some places, a point has been reached where crop destruction is the better business decision," said Rüb, an expert. He himself thinks that's regrettable, but it's a business decision. "No one wants to make losses." Strawberries were grown on around 2550 hectares in NRW in 2021, figures for this year are not yet available.

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