Belgian pear producers are struggling

Sunday, 21 April 2019 01:43
Belgian pear producers are struggling © Belga
Pear producers in Belgium are struggling because of ridiculously low prices and an over-abundant supply.
The 2018 drought was the latest episode in a series of disasters (Russian embargo, late frosts, hurricanes, over-production in Europe amongst other), rendering a third of the pears grown that year unsellable.

The spring 2018 drought caused a large quantity of pears to remain too small and be of poor quality. The price per kilo is also very low. “Because of the drought, there are fewer class A pears and smaller pears are now worth less, so prices have plummeted," explains Stijn De Roo from the Flemish Boerenbond farmer’s union.

Pears are traditionally kept in cold-storage rooms, but last year’s harvest is not keeping as well as usual. A third of the 2018 harvest will be unsellable and other fruits will be sold at a loss.

RTBF revealed on Wednesday that some fruit had been purchased for just two or three cents per kilo. Some producers have had to send trucks full of unsellable pears to the biomethanisation company Biogaz in Geer (Liège province). There, the pears will be used to produce electricity and heat.

Belgian producers are relying on the next harvest, but its quality will depend on the weather. RTBF said the Walloon Horticultural Federation warned that if nothing changes, 30% of producers will go out of business if they get no help from Europe. 

Sarah Johansson
The Brussels Times

More Stories

More suspects wanted in Snapchat gang rape

More suspects wanted in Snapchat gang rape

Police are looking for three more suspects thought to have also participated in the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl, after seven of her attackers were placed under detention this week.

Far-right Flemish party campaigns under guise of animal rights party

Far-right Flemish party campaigns under guise of animal rights party

The far-right Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang party is running a social media campaign as 'Party for the Animals - Flanders'. 

Airlines worry about bad reputation due to 'misinformed' climate activists

Airlines worry about bad reputation due to 'misinformed' climate activists

The ‘flying shame’ movement that pushes young generations to stop using planes for climate reasons is distressing the airlines.