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    Will strawberries soon be a luxury? These are the reasons for the rising prices

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    Red, sweet and a real luxury: strawberries are currently very expensive. What's behind it? And what prices should strawberry fans expect?

    The strawberry season has begun – but with difficulties. Although many have missed the sweet red treat in recent months, the bowls are still sometimes left in the supermarket or at the weekly market. The reason: the high prices prevent many customers from buying them now. Is inflation to blame for the price increase? Or is there something else behind it?

    The rising operating costs – personnel, energy – are also driving up the price per kilo of strawberries. However, the weather chaos of the past few weeks is more decisive, as many farmers report. “The spring was not very sunny and the cold after Easter set back the harvest,” explains one farm to “News38.de”. The strawberries are ripening in “bursts” and not evenly one after the other as usual. This makes harvesting more difficult and picking less efficient. Another factor that is driving up costs.

    According to the Spanish magazine for fruit and vegetable trade “Mercados”, prices for the spring classic are now recovering slightly. Although only very slowly and mainly in Germany. In this country, they are at an average of 3.85 euros/kg on the wholesale market. There are regional differences, however: in western Germany (Cologne) a kilo is offered for around 4.28 euros, in the east (Berlin) for 3.78 euros.

    However, these are the wholesale prices. At the weekly markets, farmers charge significantly more. At the start of the season, a kilo of the sweet berries costs between 10 and 12 euros/kg.

    The high prices could, however, be an exception. Simon Schumacher, board spokesman for the Association of South German Asparagus and Strawberry Growers, explains to “Bild” that strawberries are being offered for around €8.90/kg this year, as was the case last year, and that consumers do not have to adjust to strongly fluctuating prices per kilo. This is because many companies use plastic tunnels to protect the plants from frost. Farmers therefore have fewer problems with strawberries that are ripe for harvest at different times, which is unplanned. This means that harvest costs are lower and prices are more stable.

    In addition to the prices, there are also differences in quality, the report from the Spanish trade magazine continues. This also fluctuates – a result of the contrasting regional weather conditions.

    Only the strawberries in the supermarket or at the discounter could be very expensive now and in the coming weeks (price on the wholesale market 3.33 euros/kg). This is because French and Spanish strawberry plants are still suffering from the effects of the frost of the past few weeks. And this continues to affect the price per kilo, according to “Mercados”.

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