Storms take toll on Dutch growers

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Storms take toll on Dutch growers

Country hit by hail "the size of tennis balls", damaging greenhouses and crops

Storms take toll on Dutch growers

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Hail that hit the southern Netherlands late last week has caused serious damage to facilities and crops alike for some growers, according to sources in the country.

Bauke van Lenteren, marketing and business development specialist for convenience and leafies at Rijk Zwaan, told Eurofruit that while she had not yet visited any growers personally, she has seen the impact of the hail on television, with glass smashed on many greenhouses and crops damaged.

Van Lenteren also pointed out that the country's agriculture minister was failing to support the growers who had suffered hail damage, as he claimed the hail could not be termed a 'disaster'.

Another source, who preferred not to be named, noted that plenty of damage had been done by the storm, with many growers hit hard.

"We have seen in some regions extremely heavy rain, and then there has been a storm with hail the size of tennis balls," he told Eurofruit. "That has ruined many acres of greenhouses. There has been extreme weather and it has hurt a lot of farmers in Holland so it is a tragedy."

Following the agricultural minister's decision not to classify the damage as a disaster, Caroline van der Plas, founder of @Boerburger – a social media community for Dutch farmers and growers that connects them with people outside the industry – has set up an online page to raise money for farmers in need.

And the source questioned whether the Dutch government should have to pay money to cover such damage.

"The question is, what is an occupational hazard and what is not?" he queried. "If you want to make money you take a risk, and If the risk pays off you earn a lot. If the weather breaks, is it down to the government to solve this or is it just a hazard of the occupation?"

 

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