At present, market prices for fruits and vegetables are fixed daily and the factors that influence the rise or fall of prices are diverse. In this article we will comment on the main market in Barcelona for the sector and some of the factors and causes that motivate the aforementioned rise or fall in prices.
One of the most important referents is Mercabarna, where in the fruit and vegetable sector it sells about 1,700,000 tons, with a large number of specialized companies that move around € 4.8 billion, these volumes making Mercabarna In the first European market in the commercialization of fruits and vegetables.
The beginnings of Mercabarna were with the transfer of the Central Market of Fruits and Vegetables on August 9, 1971, being the first market to be established, coming from the emblematic site of Born in Barcelona.
It is the market that generates greater commercial movement, in 440 points of sale and with data of commercialization of more than 1 million tons of products to the year, that arrive and are distributed by all the world.
Actually, this market since 1989 works in daytime, unlike most of the wholesale markets of the world, that remain at dawn.
Mercabarna is the nerve center in the development of the sectors of the food trade, the gastronomy and the restoration of Barcelona and Catalonia.
It is assumed that this market should generate high levels of competition between buyers and sellers, and therefore, a large and varied product offering that forms the most competitive price for the consumer. Although sometimes other factors mark the market price.
The type of buyers of Mercabarna companies is diverse:
- Small specialized trade (increasingly run by immigration).
- Chains of retailers of greengrocers.
- Distribution chains (supermarket chains, supermarkets …)
- Sector Horeca (hotel, catering and collectives)
- Spanish Wholesalers
- Importers / Exporters
Traditionally Catalonia has been a leader in fruit growing and today fresh fruit represents 6% of the agricultural area with 43,000 hectares and a production that exceeds one million tons.
The fruit growing in numbers reaches 400,000 tons of apple, 300,000 tons of pear, 8,000 tons of cherry, 7,000 tons of plum and 2,500 tons of apricot, and stand out the 370,000 tons of peaches and nectarines that year after year continue to increase the percentage of representation And that they incorporate in a significant way new varieties of peach “boring”, called Paraguayans.
Catalonia produces more than 50% of the apple and pear of the Spanish state and more than 30% of the peach and nectarine. With regard to Europe, it is the second pear producing area with 13% of the total and 9% of European peach.
In recent years, Catalonia has also entered fully into the process of globalization of the economy with a strong push for internationalization and openness to new markets.
“ Now, what are the factors and indicators that normalize or produce fluctuations in prices?. What has happened in the course of the year?.
Most of us are already accustomed to detecting influential causes of price fluctuations in the markets, especially in relation to fruits and vegetables, to name a few, like oil and one of the clearest because of their direct impact on Fields and agriculture, climate change.
At the beginning of this year, the cold spell in Europe, predicted a rise in prices and destabilize the fruit and vegetable market, generating increases above 100% in many products and creating risks on sale due to difficulties of purchase For consumers.
Smaller stores that have the smallest margin of maneuver are sometimes forced to lower their own margin by 20% to 8%, and in most cases what they do is buy other products to help them In the sale since the high prices of the market are not affordable to the consumer.
Drastic changes in prices mean that these expensive products tend not to reach the market mainly because the small trader does not store and the big chains are not served by the products because of the difficulty of the suppliers to fulfill their previously agreed price commitments.
The wholesale market Mercabarna notes that the main products of the vegetable market have suffered sudden increases in prices in the last two weeks, with increases ranging from 25% to 120%. Red pepper, for example has soared 125% in two weeks. Wholesale prices are an indicator of price developments, but this increase is not necessarily reflected directly in the sale to the public. The most relevant increases communicated by Mercabarna are, in addition to the red pepper, zucchini (100%); Green bean (100%); Eggplant (100%); Cucumber (86%); Cauliflower (33%); And green pepper (33%). Zucchini has also increased its price in a very important way (more than 100%).
“Another important factor influential in the price, which we do not pay much attention, is the seasonality of fruits and vegetables, which can reach three times the price of the product because it is out of season.
LEARN TO APPRECIATE THE DIFFERENCE
“The vast majority of today’s shoppers have an absolute lack of knowledge of which fruits and vegetables are in season and which are not. The lack of knowledge reaches such an extreme that we have become accustomed to consuming the same fruits and vegetables throughout the year, in Winter or summer, and the problem is not only the price but most of them can not distinguish the great difference of flavor that exists between a piece of fruit in its maturing season and another that has not yet reached it.”