Czech fruit farmers are grappling with the worst harvest in six years. Despite the poor yield, there is still an ample supply of apples in storage, according to Martin Ludvík, chairman of the Fruit Growers Union. However, some types of fruit are no longer commercially grown in the country. These include blackcurrants and gooseberries, along with peaches.
“The situation was bad for stone fruits. For example, plums were damaged by humid and cold weather during the flowering period,” said Ludvík. Apples also fared poorly, with the smallest harvest in the last 12 years. However, in early January, there were still 37,000 tons in storage.
Czech apples are currently selling for around 36 crowns. If you buy them from growers, the price ranges between 20 and 35 crowns. However, we are seeing extreme differences in shops. The cheapest apples are on sale, usually Polish apples, but varieties are being sold for 60 or 70 crowns per kilo,” Ludvík pointed out. According to him, the price is not significantly affected by the size of the Czech harvest, as we depend on imports for all types of fruit.
Let’s take pears, for example. Unlike the rest of Europe, they had a good yield in the country last year. However, their price did not decrease,” Ludvík noted. This is just one of the numerous challenges that Czech fruit farmers face.
As discussions about the state of Czech fruit farming continue, it’s clear that the sector is facing significant challenges. It’s a reality that is being faced not only by apple growers but also by those who grow other types of fruit. Some, like gooseberries and peaches, are already being phased out on a large scale. The future of Czech fruit farming hangs in the balance, and all eyes will be on the industry’s next steps.