Strawberries are popular in summer – but German farmers hardly earn anything from them. Some have now even taken to destroying their fields instead of harvesting them.
The strawberry season is fast approaching – and at least the weather conditions are right. After a mild winter, there were hardly any plant failures and damage, the farmers are expecting a high-yield harvest this summer. But that’s about it with the good news for growers.
Otherwise, the mood among strawberry farmers is more than depressed. In plain language: The mood is really bad, as reported by WDR. Hardly any money can be made with the cultivation and sale of strawberries, since only low prices are paid. In protest against this, some farmers even intentionally destroy their fields – along with the ripe strawberries that they have worked so hard to grow.
Hardly anything can be earned with strawberries
“You could cry – that’s the work of a year or even several years. If you then destroy it without having the benefit, it’s very annoying,” said Andreas Rahmann from Coesfeld in North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the farmers who have decided to take this drastic step, the WDR. Instead of strawberries, he now wants to grow corn in the field, which he hopes will increase his profits.
The costs are high and the price low, so the harvest is not worthwhile in some places, said Bernhard Rüb from the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture – a bad deal. Then the destruction of the harvest is the more sensible business decision, even if many consumers have little understanding for it. The strawberries that are offered in the food trade mostly come from Spain or the Netherlands. Supermarkets and discounters can buy there at significantly lower prices than from local farmers, and thus earn more.
“We farmers bear the risk of hail, heavy rain, bad weather and the situation in Ukraine,” Farmer Rahmann told WDR, appealing to supermarkets and customers: “If we consumers want to continue having strawberries from Germany, then we have to we pay more money for it – there is no other way.”
Sources: WDR / DPA
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