Les premières asperges hollandaises arrivent

Rick Mengers, ZON:

« German acreage shrinkage means more export chances for Dutch asparagus »

The Dutch asparagus season kicked off at ZON on Tuesday. This cooperative quickly sold the first five crates for €20/kg. « Volumes are still limited now. But from next week, we’ll get daily supply from our growers, » says salesman Rick Mengers. He’s confident about the upcoming season. « Germany has less asparagus acreage. That will create export opportunities. The acreage has shrunk slightly in the Netherlands too. »

« Dutch supermarkets are also starting to sell asparagus a week sooner than last year. That’s good news, especially for growers who heat their crops. We’ve visited all our clients, and they’re all very optimistic. As far as sales to the hospitality industry are concerned, much will depend on the COVID-19 measures. If terraces can be opened up again, asparagus sales will skyrocket. But apart from the Triple-A asparagus, there’s still a good market for this product outside of that sector. »

Ricks says there’s a new development. Purple asparagus is gaining popularity. « There’s a bit of an expansion there. Bejo has introduced a new purple hybrid.  And growers are planting hectares, instead of a few rows, at a time. This will be a nice addition to the other two colors. Getting workers will also be a major challenge for farmers. Everyone is waiting anxiously to see how the harvest robots will perform. If that goes well, I think some of the larger growers will start using these too, » Rick concludes.