Supplying Belgium with fresh fruit and vegetables is getting harder with each passing day of the current coronavirus outbreak. The sector is also facing potential stagnation in consumption, as households’ budgets run out before the end of the month.
Belgium’s agri-food industry is struggling without sufficient people to work in the packing stations and to harvest products like asparagus. Belgian importers are being inventive and doing what they can to supply consumers. But logistics involving other countries are now immensely complicated, with planes grounded. This means there is a shortage of some kinds of healthy exotics such as sun-ripened pineapple and mango. While there is still papaya for now, these supplies won’t last long when connections with Brazil end this week. Fortunately, there are still kiwis, oranges and lemons to provide vitamin C, and fruit with anti-oxidants such as blueberries and pomegranates. However, as there are hardly any imports arriving in Belgium from Italy, even these fruits are likely to see a drop in availability.