Dutch onions are suffering from climate change

Onions, as with all European crops, are suffering more and more frequently from the sudden changes in the weather.

Jordi Calatayud, from the Sales Department at the Dutch company Mulder, talked to Fruit Today magazine about this.

Let’s start off with the compulsory question at the moment: How has the Ukraine war affected you?

It hasn’t affected us too much because the demand has remained the same. The truth is there was a moment when it was even higher than normal. As a side effect of the conflict, the factor that is disrupting the business most is the increase in transport costs, as a result of the problems caused by the pandemic and that continue all over the world, and due to the war itself.

Spanish weather conditions are very unstable, with flooded fields until recently and now with very high temperatures. What are the repercussions for Mulder?

It is not a phenomenon that is only affecting Spanish productions; we are also suffering from the consequences of these sudden changes in Holland. We have had summer temperatures, 30 degrees, in May and a shortage of rainfall, when it should have been raining most. This month is essential for the new harvest, and, from this point of view, it has not been what we expected, and this will have repercussions on the usable volumes.

How have prices evolved since the start of the season?

As the demand in Eastern Europe continues, the prices have risen over the last few weeks because the farmers want to recover their losses and generate the highest prices possible. But, in general, the prices have been more or less stable over the season.

What prospects can you see for the next campaign?

There are two variables that will be decisive: one is the quality and the volumes as a result of the drought we are experiencing, and the other is the development of the logistics situation regarding containers. The latter is turning into a nightmare because, at present, it is not getting any better.

How are the markets outside the EU developing?

Mulder has historic clients on both the African and the Asian continents, which represent a very important part of the company’s turnover. In recent years, we have seen a rising demand in countries such as the Philippines.

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