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Heat wave unlikely to impact berry prices: Producer

Sizzling temperatures have impacted yields in Quebec and B.C.

Strawberry and blueberry producers in Quebec say this summer's sweltering temperatures have affected their yields, but that consumers likely won't pay more for the fruit.

Guy Pouliot, vice-president of a Quebec association that represents strawberry and raspberry producers, says heat waves have had an impact on the summer crop of strawberries, with the yield 20% lower than last year's.

But he adds that should not affect the price Quebec consumers pay because of pricing agreements producers have with the big grocery store chains.

Daniel Gobeil, a spokesman for Quebec blueberry producers, says three weeks without rain earlier this summer hurt, but that losses will be minimized with recent rainstorms.

In the West, Alf Krause, vice-president of the BC Strawberry Growers Association, says this year's first crop of strawberries was average and the second crop has been generally good, though yields are not as high as the first crop.

He says prices are up from last year--but that's due largely to labour costs which have risen considerably.

Krause cautions consumers that prices of B.C. strawberries and blueberries will start creeping up this weekend.

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