Belgian frozen fruit specialist Dirafrost has announced the late harvesting of the strawberry crop in Morocco due to the cold nights experienced in recent weeks.
The first fresh strawberries were reportedly delivered to the company's factory for processing last week, around 2-3 weeks later than usual.
"Current supplies of fresh strawberries per day are 30 per cent of the normal quantity," the company stated. "Right now prices are higher than last year, partly because of very low availability and partly because the fresh strawberry market still continues at interesting prices."
The new crop of strawberries is yet to reach the level of maturity necessary for the production of whole frozen strawberries, according to Dirafrost, so the company has had to limit itself to manufacturing frozen cubes and halves instead.
The first deliveries of whole strawberries to its Belgian facilities are anticipated in the first week of April. The target, according to the company, is to produce 12,000 tonnes of frozen strawberries by the end of the season in June, a volume comparable to last year's total.