Markets short on Estonian produce due to cold weather

Fresh produce prices at markets in Tallinn on Monday. June 13, 2022.
Fresh produce prices at markets in Tallinn on Monday. June 13, 2022. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Cold weather means that local produce is in short supply at Estonia's outdoor markets and more expensive compared to last year. More Estonian produce is expected to hit the shelves around Midsummer Day.

People often look for domestic produce when visiting their local market, while traders say such goods are still in short supply.

"We have tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and dill," Irina said.

Trader Indrek said that the relative shortage of fresh Estonian food is down to cold weather.

"We used to get the first tomatoes around Women's Day, but it's now more than 30 years since. Now, we got the first tomatoes from Pärnu County the day before yesterday. That is how much the climate has changed. It's the same problem with cucumbers. They just won't grow when it's cold, and we're seeing very little yet," the market vendor said.

Shoppers still have to wait for Estonian strawberries and fresh potatoes, which are the most popular food items for the markets. Here, too, the cold has had a hand.

"I think we'll see potatoes after Midsummer's, while we may see strawberries before," Irina suggested.

"There may be some still growing potatoes in a greenhouse, which is how we might see some by Midsummer Day. We got 6.5 kilograms of strawberries from Viljandi County, the first harvest of the season and, therefore, almost nonexistent of course," Indrek added.

Cold weather also affects what growers have to spend, which in turn affects prices at market stalls.

"I asked the people next to me how long does it take to grow such a tomato plant, and they said it's around two months. Imagine what you spend on fuel over two months," Indrek said.

However, people are still eagerly buying what is available, Irina suggested.

"We're moving tomatoes and cucumbers for €7.50 a kilo, but people are buying, because they're partial to local Estonian produce," she remarked.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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