Apple-growers hit hard by Russian boycott

The country’s fruit farmers are battling with a big surplus of apples. Like last autumn’s pear surplus, the apple surplus has come about due to Russia’s boycott of EU agricultural produce. The surplus has led to what are being described as “Dramatically low prices”.

Last summer the Russian government imposed a boycott against all fruit, vegetables, meat, fish hand dairy products from the EU. With 60% of Belgium’s pear harvest normally being exported to Russia, Belgian pear farmers were the first to be hit hard by the boycott.

A campaign was launched to encourage us all to eat more (home-grown) pears and the pear-growers were able to weather the storm. The Association of Belgian Horticulturalists says that pear prices are now comparable with this time last year.

However, there is now a surplus of apples that aren’t able to be sold "even at dramatically low prices.”

Philippe Appeltans of the Association of Belgian Horticulturalists told VRT radio news that "A number of European countries such as Poland sold apples to Russia in big quantities. Now that they are unable to do so they are selling them elsewhere.”