Bad weather damages crops and hits the vegetable market, as a rainy 2000 summer and low carryovers spelt bad news for the 2001 vegetable season. And there’s more to come, says Mark Cobb of Icefresh, the frozen food specialists. 

Dramatic weather conditions have resulted in some crops yielding 15 to 20% of usual tonnages.  Heavy rains hit Northern Europe and southern area had to face outstanding variations in temperatures.  Significant downturn in Eastern Europe (Poland) is also expected and being blamed on the poor weather during the growing period.

Such short global supply results in frozen and fresh producers competing for raw materials pushing growers returns higher.

Currently peas, cauliflower, spinach and carrots are the most affected harvests.


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o Spinach: According to estimates Belgium and the Netherlands may lose above 20% of their crop.  The autumn harvest is expected to be at least 30% short.  Germany reports losses of 10 to 15%.

o Peas: Very late sowing activities and summer drought, the yield was poor and processed quantities were cut by at least 20% with losses in some areas higher than 30%.

o Beans: Expected to be 15% lower than scheduled.

o Carrots: The supply in young carrots should not exceed 85% of the processing programs.  Autumn harvests are expected to yield losses of 20 to 25%.

o Onions:  2001 might be the worst crop for many years with reductions down to 30%

o Cauliflower: Delays in sowing hindered a supply of processing plants causing a decrease during the summer if 15 to 20%.  The autumn crops with bad weather conditions not only affect the quantities (loses of 25 to 35%), but also the quality of the raw material.

Summing up, there are shortages all round with prices increasing and set to continue to rise for the next year.