The watermelon season began in Moscow on 3 August. The majority or 57 out of some 240 markets selling these delicious huge berries are located in the southern and south-eastern districts of Moscow. They will stay open until 1 October.
“The average price is 30 roubles for watermelons and 80 roubles for melons per kilo, but the average prices in chain stores are 20 roubles and 60 roubles, respectively. You can buy watermelons and melons brought from Krasnodar, Rostov and Astrakhan, as well as possibly from Dagestan,” Head of the Moscow Department of Trade and Services Alexei Nemeryuk said.
The watermelons and melons that are sold at official venues are checked for quality every week. The venues themselves are designed as latticed wooden kiosks with a counter painted in brown and sandy fawn colours.
Requirements at these sites are very strict. They must have information stands with working hours together with prices, and the seller must wear a special uniform and have a medical fitness card, a licence and a certificate of quality for his wares.
“People should know that it is illegal to sell watermelons and melons that are kept on the ground, in metal cages or on lorries. These watermelons and melons have not been certified by health inspectors. Moreover, watermelons easily absorb heavy metals from the vehicles’ exhaust fumes. The companies that violate these regulations can be fined anything between 5,000 and 50,000 roubles and individual sellers, 2,500 roubles,” Alexei Nemeryuk said.
Sites selling cultivated and wild strawberries opened in Moscow on 10 June. These strawberries were grown by 20 producers in 12 regions, including the Volgograd, Rostov, Saratov, Lipetsk, Belgorod and Astrakhan regions, the Stavropol and Krasnodar territories, the republics of Crimea, Dagestan and Chuvashia, as well as the Moscow Region. By 10 July, people in Moscow had bought over 900 tonnes of cultivated and wild strawberries.