Emmanuel Lefebvre produces thousands of tons of endives on his farm in northern France annually, but this year he may not grow the vegetable because of the exorbitant energy costs required to freeze the produce.
The case of this French farmer is not an isolated one. Throughout northern and western Europe, vegetable producers are now seriously considering stopping crops due to the economic hit from the energy crisis, which could bring shortages to the market.
Rising electricity and gas prices will affect crops during the winter.
This means that products such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers require greenhouse in winter as well as those to be placed in cold storagessuch as apples, onions and endives, will be negatively affected due to energy costs.
It is characteristic that the cultivation of antidiases in particular is particularly costly in terms of energy. After the bulbs are harvested in the fall, they are stored in sub-zero temperatures and then transplanted into temperature-controlled containers to allow year-round production.
“We’re really wondering if we’ll harvest this winter,” says Lefebvre.
In the midst of this situation, European farmers warn of shortages. The expected hit to production and the jump in prices means supermarkets may turn to sourcing more produce from warmer countries such as Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, with implications for the agricultural sector in Europe.
With information from Reuters