Market and harvest report - 15/12/2018 edition Thursday 31 January 2019


The 2018-2019 production year is fast coming to a close. After an unusually dry summer through much of Europe, with an unprecedented lack of irrigation opportunities, we can now assess the consequences of the extreme growing and harvest conditions.

The results are calamitous:

  • Significantly reduced harvests for several types of vegetables
  • Higher production costs due to processing of lower volumes
  • A rise in the price of raw materials for 2019-2020

An overview of the major shortfalls in quantity:

  • Garden peas : General shortfall of 25%, sometimes higher for the smaller sizes.
  • Spinach : More or less according to plan.
  • Beans : Quantities reduced by 15%. Ardo managed to partially compensate for these shortages thanks to the distribution of production throughout Europe.
  • Broad beans : Shortages up to 25%.
  • Cauliflower : Significantly delayed harvest. Shortfalls for specific sizes.
  • Carrots : Up to 20% shortfall for winter carrots.
  • Cabbage : General losses of 40 to 50% in quantity. Red and white cabbage most heavily affected.
  • Onions : Smaller sizes and reduced harvests have resulted in steep rises in raw material prices.
  • Sprouts : The harvest is not yet complete, but a 10% reduction in quantity is a fact.
  • Herbs : Most varieties generally proceeding according to plan.
  • Black salsify : Expected results 75%.
  • Tomatoes : Poor harvests in all southern countries, down by as much as 20%.
  • Rhubarb : Only 50% of planned quantities available.
  • Sweetcorn : Global shortages. Steeply risen prices where available.

As harvest results were practically identical for all of Europe, it’s safe to assume global production shortages of 10% on average, amounting to 300,000 tonnes of fresh-frozen vegetables on a European level.



The vegetarian and vegan trend is still growing. Vegetables, fruit and herbs head the list of plant-based foodstuffs.

Recent market research in Belgium revealed that all consumers consider “health” their primary concern in determining what to eat. Besides, fresh-frozen is the best way to ensure the preservation of vitamins and nutritional value.

The combination of fresh-frozen and plant-based is fully on-trend. Good motivation to get started on planning the 2019/2020 crop programmes for the Ardo range of vegetables, fruit and herbs. Fingers crossed for better harvests in 2019…

Edition: 15/12/2018.

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