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Swiss fruit farmers face losses of 100 million francs due to frost

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The Local - [email protected]
Swiss fruit farmers face losses of 100 million francs due to frost
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The total cost of the frost in late April that damaged fruit farms across Switzerland could be more than 100 million francs, according to the latest estimations.

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And that doesn’t even include the damage caused to budding vines in Switzerland's vineyards, which was also considerable. 
 
Speaking to news agency ATS, Hubert Zufferey of Fruit-Union Suisse estimated that apple orchards suffered 42 million francs worth of damage. Cherry producers will be 25 million francs out of pocket with this year’s harvest predicted to be only a quarter of its normal size, he said. 
 
Apples, pears and plums are also badly affected, while producers of apricots – a famous product of the Valais region – are likely to see their harvest reduced by half, he added.
 
Berries and vegetables are less affected, and there are big regional differences – for example apple orchards in central Switzerland were damaged far more than those in the Valais. 
 
The estimated 100 million francs doesn’t include potential losses incurred by commercial third parties or related industries, such as distillers. 
 
Consumers will notice little difference in the availability of fruits, however, with imports making up the drop in domestic produce.
 
As for vines, it’s too early to say exactly how much producers will be out of pocket, however the damage caused by what one Aargau official called the “frost of the century” was considerable in many parts of the country. 
 
More than a third of the country’s vines are thought to be affected, with some vineyards suffering significant damage to the majority of their vines.

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