Vladimir Putin’s reaction to European sanctions, following his invasion of the Ukraine, has led to a continent-wide drop in the price of fruit, the Sunday Express reports. English apple growers are being offered so little for their crops, many opt to leave the fruit on the trees to rot.
In August, Putin retaliated against the EU sanctions with a one-year ban on food imports from the EU, including apples and pears. In normal times, Russia buys a million tons of apples each year from EU countries.
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With nowhere else to sell their crops, European growers have been flooding the British market, according to the SE, which cites Adrian Barlow, chief executive of trade body English Apples and Pears Ltd., who said: “Across Europe there has been panic. Apple prices have slumped to less than 50 per cent of what growers got last year. On August 7, the Russians imposed their import ban. In this country we suddenly found we were being swamped with apples from abroad, being offered at crazy prices. That meant growers here who supply our wholesalers were plunged into financial difficulties. Growers will go under this year.”
British apple grower David Toms told the SE that “lorries full of apples are turning up from Poland at the big wholesale markets and the drivers are under orders to get rid of them at any price. The prices we are getting have dropped by half, its so bad we’ve stopped offering them for sale. A lot of the big growers are selling their Bramley apples for a fraction of the £200 ($315) a ton they normally get. You can’t survive on those figures.”