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Bumper berry crop leads to bucket sales boom

Shoppers are in a near frenzy to snap up picking supplies and head out into the berry-laden forests

Kaupan täynnä oleva ämpärihylly.
Shops are hard pressed right now to keep shelves stocked with berry-picking supplies. Image: Emilia Pakkala / Yle

Demand for buckets to fill with nature's sweet bounty has been so high that in some places in Finland shop shelves are already bare.

Finland is seeing an exceptionally good summer for wild berries. Sales of not only buckets, but also other products such berry-picking rakes, containers and freezers, have shot up throughout the country.

Finnish law recognises broad public access to private lands, the freedom to roam for recreation or exercise. Known in Finnish as "jokamiehenoikeus" and "allemansrätten" in Swedish (literally "everyman's right") this includes the right to pick wild berries and mushrooms. And this is a very popular pastime, for some people even a significant seasonal source of income.

The year, because of the coronavirus epidemic, more people have been spending their summer holidays close to home or at summer cottages instead of travelling abroad.

More people in the forests and more wild berries than usual have left shopkeepers scrambling to meet demand for pickers' supplies.

Daily orders

Matti Korhonen, commercial director for the Tokmanni retail chain told Yle that his company simply hadn't anticipated a run on buckets, but it is responding by placing more orders with suppliers and even expanding its range.

The same was heard from other retail chains such as Kesko, the S-Group and Motonet.

For example, Maarit Idström, store manager at K-Citymarket in Kajaani, says that the popularity of buckets and other berry picking supplies is so high that she is now placing additional orders on a daily basis.

Alexander Rosenlew, CEO of Orthex Group, one of Finland's best-known bucket manufacturers, says that pre-summer sales forecasts were well below what is being seen now.

"Compared to last year, sales have roughly increased by about 10–15 percent during the summer months," relates Rosenlew.

Rosenlew added that he believes sales will pick up even further as more wild berries and mushrooms ripen in the forests.

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