Jens Schadowske of Filbig GbR at Nuremberg wholesale market on the current asparagus and strawberry season:
“If politics does not intervene here, in a few years there will hardly be any products left that we can sell”
Overproduction of strawberries is not to be expected at present, according to Jens Schadowske of Filbig GbR at the Nuremberg wholesale market. Demand is relatively good, he said. “However, it is not easy to market strawberries at the moment due to high producer costs.”
Average price level for asparagus and strawberries
He sees the currently unsettled weather as double-edged: “Since it’s not too hot yet, there are not yet large quantities on the market. As soon as it gets warmer, they will rise again accordingly. At the same time, rainy weather towards the weekend is rather bad, as end consumers hardly move to the weekly market when it rains,” says Schadowske. The price situation for strawberries as well as for asparagus is at a medium level and thus at the same price level as last year, he said.
“During the German harvest, we only offer strawberries and asparagus from German production, both regionally, meaning from Franconia and Bavaria, as well as supra-regionally from the Hesse and Thuringia area.” The wholesale market trader had learned that some of the acreage under strawberries had been reduced. “In our region, it is estimated that asparagus was produced on 25 percent reduced areas. There was overproduction for many years. Now growers have turned their attention to offering higher-quality, lower-volume crops.”
He expects product to be available evenly throughout the season, he said. “I don’t think there will be such large volumes – as in previous years – that they won’t sell.” Price and quality currently determined the market.
While variety does not play a major role in asparagus, of the strawberries, the Clery variety is predominantly grown, he said. “It carries a good flavor and forms a beautiful fruit. It also stores well. With strawberries, it is clearly regulated how thick it has to be. With asparagus, people don’t ask about caliber, but about the particular grade, with white-purple being very popular,” Schadowske knows.
Asparagus will continue to be sold wholesale in 5 kg units, both peeled and unpeeled, strawberries in turn in 10×500 g units. For discounters, 500-g bundles are used. “What is becoming apparent is that more peeled produce is now being sold, which is why pretty much every grower has peelers on hand these days.”
Concern about the future of German cultivation
Of the increased costs such as fuel prices, production costs, etc., nothing can be passed on at present, he said. “If politicians do not intervene here, in a few years there will hardly be any products left that we can sell. There is also already discussion about increasing the minimum wage to 14.00 euros. But farmers will no longer be able to pay that,” says Schadowske. “We import goods from countries that are severely affected by poverty and export huge quantities of food, whose quality standards are also not comparable to those here. In return, we set aside land in Germany and impose high requirements on farmers. This cannot go on for long. Of course, everyone who works in Germany should also be paid fairly. But that should be in reasonable proportion to the economic situation.”
Schadowske is therefore in favor of an import tax, such as exists in Switzerland. “For this, additional requirements would also have to be imposed on the exporting countries, for example that only goods harvested by workers who receive a fair salary are accepted. This can at least begin to ensure that German agriculture is preserved. Ultimately, this is value creation that will make itself felt in the tax coffers.”