Near Tournai, Guillaume Mahieu, from the orchard of Barry, hesitates to put the key under the doormat. In his warehouse there are currently 150 tons of pears.
“We store here the ones we harvested yesterday and put in a cold room. Everything is not going to leave overnight, because we have an area of 18 hectares where we produce apples and pears”he explains.
He knows that his goods will not be sold in the months of September and October alone: the cold rooms will be essential for him to keep his products to sell them little by little until the end of the season, which could last until April. .
Even if he opted for a less electricity-intensive system in 2021, today he wonders if the game is worth the candle. “In July, the amount of our invoice had doubled compared to March, while in July, we were on leave. In September, I expect a huge invoice because this is the period when we turn on all the machines”says Guillaume Mahieu.
According to the fruit grower’s estimates, his energy bill will increase by 50 thousand euros, without the possibility that he will have the possibility of passing it on, because he is not the one who decides the price of the products. “We are held hostage between energy prices and sales.”
He is increasingly hesitant to put the key under the doormat, even if it would affect the 25 full-time equivalents who work with him.