At the beginning of last week, raspberries of the first harvest appeared on the Moldovan fruit market at a price of 40-60 MDL / kg ($ 2.22-3.33 / kg). Raspberries are mainly traded by small farmers in wholesale and retail markets, resellers in tents and kiosks or “boutiques” in individual shopping centers. Supermarket chains do not have raspberries on the shelves of the produce departments yet. The starting wholesale price ranges from 30-35 MDL / kg ($ 1.66-1.99 / kg).
In 2020, the raspberry season started about eight to ten days earlier than this year with a price level of 48-50 MDL/ kg ($ 2.77-2.88 / kg) wholesale. However, in just a week, the wholesale price for raspberries dropped to 30-34 MDL/ kg ($ 1.73-1.96 / kg). The Association of Berry Producers Pomușoarele Moldovei explained the sharp decline in prices by unsuccessful first deliveries of local raspberries to the Russian Federation – the goods deteriorated on the way. The same risk is relevant this year as well.
The specialists of the berry association believe that the situation is even more complicated. Raspberries, in principle, are prone to damage to berries by white mold, and therefore, growers need to create conditions for good ventilation of the plantations. The cool and rainy weather made it difficult for farmers to ensure this, as well as to carry out effective sanitization against raspberry diseases. As a result, the berry of the first harvest is generally quite large, but too juicy, and its shelf life is extremely low. In fact, such a berry must be sold on the day of harvest, at best, in the morning of the next day. Meanwhile, farmers do not always manage to organize such prompt sales even on the domestic market. Relatively stable exports are likely to start as early as July.
In addition, representatives of the Pomușoarele Moldovei Association note that supermarket chains (both foreign and local) prefer at the beginning of the season to buy raspberries in small consumer packaging – plastic trays-casseroles of 125 grams. Whereas Moldovan berry farms are currently able to ensure the supply of berries (with the exception of blueberries) in larger casseroles – 300-500 grams. Moreover, berry growers consider open trays-casseroles to be the preferred form of packaging (in this case, the market employee or the buyer can remove the berries that started to rot – which is a frequent case at the beginning of the current season). However, supermarket chains prefer to take berries from suppliers in casseroles with lids or in flow packs.
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