There has naturally been a surge in home-cooking in Spain since the lockdown was imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak. This has led to a 30% increase in demand on the domestic market for vegetables, with prices of some products such as aubergines, courgettes and peppers soaring in the past week. Aubergine producers were receiving €0.10/kg until recently, but the price has now gone up to €1/kg, while courgette prices have jumped from €0.30/kg to €1/kg and Italian peppers are up from €1.60/kg to €2.20/kg,
Speaking to El Español, Eduardo López, COAG's organising secretary in Andalusia, said, “These price rises are due to the change in habits: we are not a country that consumes vegetables, we like bars, but when we are forced to lock ourselves in our homes, people are cooking and eating more in their home increasing the consumption of vegetables.”
The impact has been greatest on products viewed as staples, such as tomatoes, onions and aubergines. Prices of other vegetables such as broccoli have remained relatively stable.
COAG warns that this price bubble will not be enough to rescue an otherwise lacklustre campaign. “When everyone has a full fridge, we will surely see a drop in prices at origin, and the likelihood is still that average prices over the season will be bad and the producer won’t be able to cover his costs,” said López.