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Pepper prices skyrocketed. “Are you sure people can afford it?” Paweł Myziak and Jakub Olipra comment

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You have to pay twice as much for peppers as you did a year ago. – Is this a situation where we can talk about food security? Are you sure people can afford it? – notes Paweł Myziak from the Polish Paprika Producers Association in an interview with TVN24 Biznes. Jakub Olipra, a senior economist at Credit Agricole, explains that the high prices are, among other things, the result of rising bills for energy and fertilizers as well as labor costs.

Paweł Myziak from the board of the Polish Paprika Producers Association says in an interview with TVN24 Biznes that some vegetables are twice or even three times more expensive than in 2022.

– Carrot and onion for PLN 6, pepper for PLN 28, tomato for PLN 25 – he enumerates. – And is this a situation where we can talk about food security? Are you sure people can afford such prices? Without Polish production, we will always be exposed to price crises – he points out.

Paprika road. “Consumers stop accepting these prices”

He adds that this season peppers are twice as expensive as last year. – In the previous one, it cost in the store from PLN 12.90 to PLN 14.90, now between PLN 24 and PLN 28 – he notes.

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Paweł Myziak admits that in previous years there were moments when peppers reached PLN 30 per kilogram, but it was temporary and lasted about a week. – Today it takes longer, but we are at the price peak, because we see that the consumer is no longer accepting such prices. There is a very visible substitution of goods, he comments. He explains that if a buyer wants to make a salad and cannot afford any vegetables, he buys cheaper ones, such as onions or cabbage, instead. – Thus winding another spiral, because these other products will also slowly become more expensive – he concludes.

As an example of the advantages of own production, he points to onion, which is the most popular vegetable in the world. – Fortunately, we have Polish production and that’s why it costs about 6 zlotys in the store. IN Thailand however, onion mafias are formed and there the price of this vegetable reaches PLN 60 per kilogram in Polish currency, because access to onions is difficult – he explains.

Read also: This is probably the most expensive onion in the world. It costs more than meat

How much will vegetable prices increase?

Jakub Olipra, senior economist at Credit Agricole Bank, admits in an interview with TVN24 Biznes that producers are facing increasing cost pressure related to high prices of fertilizers and energy, which is a particularly important issue in the case of greenhouse crops.

– Rising labor costs are also a problem. This is reflected in the prices. In turn, the factor limiting the growth of vegetables last year was their relatively good harvest. It is worth noting that the increase in vegetable prices was still relatively small compared to other food products such as flour, vegetable oils, bread, meat or sugar – he explains.

According to Credit Agricole’s forecasts, the average annual price of vegetables will increase in 2023 by about 12.1 percent. – However, much will depend on this year’s harvest, which is difficult to predict at this stage. We will see how the agro-meteorological conditions will develop this season, on which production will depend – explains Olipra.

Energy prices, labor costs

On high energy prices also indicates Paweł Myziak from the Association of Paprika Producers of the Republic of Poland. – Thanks to them, agriculture has been deregulated – he says in an interview with TVN24 Biznes.

The industry is also struggling with the problem of workers. – Finding a person who wants to work in agriculture is a miracle. In addition, a large part of vegetable producers delays production or reduced it in the previous year. That is why we are doomed to the price dictate of thermophilic products that come to us from Spainfrom Turkey, from Italian – explain.

Meanwhile, in some of these countries, prices rose due to problems on plantations caused by cold waves.

– We have always had winter production of thermophilic vegetables in Poland: cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, although it is the least of them. At the moment, we do not produce anything but raspberry tomato. We buy everything from abroad. We must have an alternative, because in the event of some catastrophe, as in Turkeywe will not receive these products at all – he warns.

Read more: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi chains introduce limits on some vegetables and fruits

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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