The consequences of the high inflation rates are also evident in fruit and vegetables. Customers currently prefer to leave expensive berries lying around in the supermarket. Instead, buyers prefer to use the basic range.
In times of high inflation rates – in December inflation was still at a high 8.6 percent – customers also pay more attention to their money when it comes to fruit and vegetables. According to the German Fruit Trade Association, consumers are currently more cautious, especially when it comes to higher quality and therefore more expensive products.
Association hopes for moderate prices
“The year before last, different types of berries were the absolute bestseller,” said Managing Director Andreas Brügger of the German Press Agency. “In the meantime, customers are walking past it. The trend is going back to the basic range.” The association hopes that the price development for fruit and vegetables will remain moderate in the coming months despite the overall high inflation.
“Fortunately, the supply on the world market is relatively high at the moment because it can be cultivated,” says Brügger. “Nature continues to grow, despite Corona and despite problems in the supply chain. The market supply was therefore good.”
Signs of relaxation in fruit prices
In fact, the prices for fruit in Germany last year rose at a rate of 3.0 percent, which was well below average. The general inflation rate for 2022 was 7.9 percent. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the rise in prices was particularly low for apples with an increase of 0.8 percent. Cucumbers were at the top with a price increase of 26.2 percent compared to the previous year.
Producer prices are meanwhile pointing to further easing on the market: Producer prices for fruit in November were 3.4 percent lower than a year ago. There were significant price declines for dessert apples, for example, by 17.3 percent.
Fruit Logistica fair begins
Just a few days after the International Green Week, the Fruit Logistica trade fair begins today at the Berlin exhibition center at the radio tower. According to the organizer, around 2,600 exhibitors from almost 100 countries are registered for the industry get-together for the fruit and vegetable trade, which is around 600 more than in 2022. At that time, around 40,000 trade visitors came to Fruit Logistica.
According to the association, the effects of the Ukraine war and in particular the lack of staff are causing problems for the industry. “We practically went from one crisis to the next,” said Managing Director Brügger. Transport and energy costs have gone up significantly. “It goes down to the producer” and affects all parts of the supply chain.” In addition, there is a lack of personnel, from truck drivers to seasonal workers.
Supply chain law as a challenge
A particular challenge for some companies is the supply chain law that has been in force in Germany since this year. It obliges large companies to respect human rights in their supply chains.
The retail trade in particular will therefore protect itself “until it is no longer possible,” said Brügger. “The costs for this are passed down to the producer. For the smallholders from overseas, this means another financial burden.”