I have never known a summer where the price of tomatoes has held so well after labour weekend. Prices have been brilliant and, for the growers that are harvesting, it has the potential to be one of the best summers for returns in over 20 years.
I presume it is simply supply and demand as far as the raw numbers go. Problems such as growers effected by Pepino MV, labour shortages or simply avoiding harvesting at this time of the year after last summer’s abysmal pricing may have all played their part in the current returns.
I have heard that cucumber prices have been very flat – this could indicate some growers opted to grow cucumbers this season rather than risk another summer with low tomato prices. There has been speculation some large areas may not be planted due to the lack of available labour. Many will say, pay workers more but it will come to a point that no amount of salary will compensate for what can be achieved in returns so this is a difficult decision.
Growers are facing huge increases in costs, as I wrote about pre-Christmas. Until the shipping issues and world-wide supply issues are somewhat resolved then growers are at the mercy of the goods they require. The balance that our market somewhat enjoyed pre pandemic may take some years to correct and there may be a mix of good times and bad. For tomato growers that are picking and Pem MV free – it is a good time. Keep up the hygiene and reap the benefits.