NOS News•today, 14:33
Vegetable and legume company HAK will shut down production for six weeks from January. With the current energy prices, it is not feasible to continue producing in the winter, says the canning manufacturer, who is mainly known for the glass jars of applesauce, peas and kidney beans.
“It is not only the high price, but also the uncertainty, says director Timo Hoogeboom. “Today it is two euros for a cubic meter of gas, it used to be three euros. We don’t know what it will be in January or February. So to be on the safe side, we will remain closed.”
There will be HAK products on the shelves, the company says. They plan the break when the harvest season is already over. Products such as legumes can be planned more flexibly, according to HAK, and the company still has a stock for unexpected circumstances.
During the harvest season, HAK collects vegetables from the fields and then preserves them in glass jars to preserve them. The heating required for that preserving process costs a lot of energy. The glass jars that the company uses are also more expensive due to increased energy costs.
Applesauce more expensive
The company expects their prices to continue to rise. “Our applesauce has already become about 20 cents more expensive. If energy prices remain so high, you have to think that products will become 30 percent more expensive across the board.” With a pot of applesauce of 1.80 euros, it quickly becomes about 2.20-2.30 euros, Hoogeboom thinks.
If it is no longer possible to pass on the higher energy prices to consumers, the availability of products may ultimately also be compromised. “If companies have to sell below cost for months, things go wrong.” He does not expect any empty shelves for HAK for the time being. “But I don’t rule it out for the chain, especially in January, February and March.” A temporary energy ceiling for companies could help, the HAK director thinks.