The Norwegian strawberry is under attack. This year farmers will probably produce around 40 % less strawberries than usual. Some farmers loose their whole production. All because of a small but agressive fungus. The first reports of trouble with the gråskimmel-fungus came from farmers in Agder and Rogaland, where several of them reported they had lost over half of their production. Fungus is considered the most common cause of damage on strawberry crops, but not usually at this scale.
Nothing tastes summer like fresh Norwegian strawberries, with their sweetness and full taste, they take you right back to your childhood´s lazy summerdays. For the consumers, this year´s strawberry crisis means more expensive berries. Perhaps there will be less availability. But for the farmers it´s about making a living. This is money lost that they were counting on. They have to send their workers home, and some loose millions and might go out of business. The situation is now so serious that several politicians have advocated for an extraordinary rescue-package to the strawberry farmers who got their crop destroyed by fungus .
– This is something the government has to take seriously. The Minister of Agriculture (Jon Georg Dale, Frp) must take meassures to help the strawberry farmers, says government representative Odd Omland (Ap) to NRK.
In order to secure future crops, it´s important to ensure the fungus does not become resistant. This should also be part of the plan to help the farmers, according to Omland.
The strawberry scare might make us appreciate this little red delicacy even more. Packed with antioxidants, low in calories and lovely in taste, it´s a real treat. Strawberries are delicious to be eaten as they are, with milk, cream, ice cream or in a smoothie, dessert and even in a salad. The Norwegian strawberry is extra sweet because it takes longer to grow. Why not try a refreshing strawberry smoothie or a sweet strawberry cake?
For the strawberry farmers, this year´s budget, and their future, remains uncertain.