Cost of Fruit, Vegetables in the Czech Republic Set to Rise Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Prague Morning

Analysts predict a significant rise in the prices of fruits and vegetables in Czech stores.

Reasons are different: the Czech crown currency’s recent weakening, spring frosts and a shortage of workers in agriculture.

At the moment in Tesco supermarkets, bell peppers cost 80 CZK/kg, tomatoes 60 CZK/kg, and lemons 55 CZK/kg. These prices are about 30% more expensive than last year.

Prices are expected to rise also in rice, as there is a significant increase in global demand.

It is characteristic that, according to Reuters data, the price of rice has climbed to the highest levels since April 2013.

Farmers all over the world feel the lack of employees, including major European suppliers – Great Britain, Spain, France and Italy.

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The numbers involved are substantial: France is short of about 200,000 workers until the end of May, while Spain has a shortfall of 70,000 to 80,000. Italy needs about 250,000 seasonal workers in the next two months, while the UK normally receives 70,000 to 80,000 over the season and Germany 300,000.

The restrictions around the coronavirus outbreak have made it impossible for thousands of migrant workers to come and harvest crops in Spanish fields.

“Farmers are forced to hire local residents and pay them a higher salary, which affects the cost of production,” said Boris Tomchiak, Finlord analyst.

Every year, thousands of people from countries like Romania, Bulgaria or Poland come to work in the fields. Many others, especially women, come from Morocco.

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