Market and harvest report April 2023
Climate change is impacting us more than we can imagine…
As we move into April 2023, the impact of climate change on our agricultural activities is becoming more apparent than ever before. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has also created significant stress for farmers, who are struggling to afford fuel, fertilizers and other necessary resources due to skyrocketing prices and shortages.
The 2022 season marked a turning point for many farmers and agronomists, who have come to realize that climate change is causing a structural change in agriculture. The effects of extreme weather conditions have been felt across Europe, from Spain to Denmark and from Brittany to Austria, with crops of all kinds suffering significant damage. From peppers to peas, spinach to sweet corn, carrots to green beans, Brussels sprouts to parsley and chives, none have been immune to the negative impacts of climate change.
This is a serious concern for everyone, including Ardo, our farmers, and our customers. With the pace of climate change continuing to accelerate, there is a growing sense of urgency to find solutions that will allow us to feed an ever-increasing population.
Looking ahead to autumn and winter crops, the situation remains challenging
In the North, plants were delayed due to a very hot and dry summer, resulting in a delay of over a month for root crops, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts, and leeks. The smooth autumn conditions allowed for a fairly successful harvest until mid-December, when a killing frost destroyed many crops that had not yet been harvested.
In the Iberian Peninsula, the situation was mixed, with the East (Castilla la Mancha) experiencing better production of winter broccoli and successful sowing of peas, while the West (Extremadura, Portugal) faced extreme drought followed by heavy rainfall, leading to flooded fields and destroyed broccoli crops.
As we face the challenges of the coming years, it is clear that stocks will be low and reference yields will be lower, requiring us to contract more land for cultivation. Farmers are also increasingly drawn to the stability and profitability of cereal crops, leaving less land available for vegetables and herbs.
To address these challenges, Ardo is committed to paying our farmers up to 20% more (and even up to 40% for some crops) and increasing the number of irrigated fields to mitigate the impact of climate change. These steps are necessary to ensure that we can continue to provide high-quality vegetables and herbs to our customers and contribute to global food security in the face of these difficult times.