Russia boycott pushing Dutch produce to bottom price

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“I have been doing this for 55 years and I never experienced it this bad before,” a retailer said this morning after purchasing spinach for €0.30, bottom price at the vegetable auction in Zaltbommel.

The Russian boycott of produce from western countries is obviously already affecting prices in the Netherlands. “Wednesday I bought spinach for €1.10. No farmer is going to be able to pull that for a long time,” the retailer said.

  A fellow buyer said that many farmers are now facing financial trouble. “The sector is not strong. A lot of farmers invested in new techniques to be able to offer the consumer the best product environmentally friendly products. That cost a lot of money and people are near drowning,” he said.

It’s not just vegetables and fruits that are fetching low prices; other products like cauliflower are in trouble as well. “It might not be a product that we export to Russia, but other European countries do. If they cannot sell, the prices here drop and that’s dramatic for the entire sector,” auction director Peter van Osch explained.

The sector is looking to The Hague for a solution. Van Osch says farmers should be compensated. “We understand why this is happening, but it can’t be that one sector is taking the brunt of the blowback. We should show solidarity,” he said.

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