This summer, the outdoor harvest of strawberries in Germany is expected to total 91,300 tons, according to the Federal Statistical Office. If this preliminary estimate is confirmed, it would be the lowest value for 24 years: Back then, in 1998, 81,500 tons of strawberries were harvested.
With the value now estimated for 2022, the amount taken from the fields would be five percent below last year’s already very low strawberry harvest of around 96,000 tons. For comparison: In the years 2016 to 2021, the average harvest amounted to 115,600 tons.
No strawberries because of inflation?
"One reason for this development is the reduction in the area under cultivation for strawberries outdoors to around 9700 hectares nationwide. This is the lowest value since the turn of the millennium," said the Federal Statistical Office and put the decrease in area compared to the previous year at nine percent. "Another reason may be the falling demand for locally grown strawberries."
The North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture had already pointed out at the end of May that some farmers were giving up the strawberry harvest because it was simply no longer worthwhile. The reluctance to buy is therefore due, among other things, to the effects of inflation: many everyday products have become more expensive, which is why customers are avoiding certain foods such as strawberries.
Also less asparagus
According to initial estimates, the asparagus harvest this year will also have declined to around 113,100 tons. Compared to the average of the past six years, the minus is likely to be almost ten percent, compared to the previous year the decrease should be five percent, according to the statisticians. As with strawberries, falling demand for pole vegetables could also have been the reason.