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Aad van Dijk, The Greenery:

“Mediocre spring for vegetables partly compensated by lack of summer slump”

The first half year of the Dutch vegetable season is over. Time to take stock with product manager of vegetables Aad van Dijk from The Greenery. 

“As yet it looks like a very regular year without significant highs or lows. The season is characterised by very good prices for illuminated cultivation in the early season, followed by a very mediocre spring, after which we did not have the slump in summer that we’ve experienced in some previous years. For many products, autumn will show whether a profit will be made this year. The first Spanish product might be turning up in some places, but that doesn’t have to worry us. Larger volumes won’t head this way until mid-October.”

“After a wet and cold winter in Spain, resulting in problematic product availability, tomatoes have had a fine illuminated season. Illuminated growers were able to profit from that. It is expected that the expansion in illuminated cultivation will continue. For non-illuminated cultivation, on the other hand, it was a very difficult spring, and there were no premium prices at all. Fortunately, summer prices dropped less, and that partly compensated for the spring. For the coming weeks, prospects are fairly good, so that we can talk of a fairly regular tomato year,” Aad says. “Loose tomatoes are the exception to this, these can actually be considered a speciality cultivation requiring customisation more and more. Production countries in North Africa and Poland are becoming larger and larger with their beefsteak tomatoes on our existing sales markets.”

Courgettes / cucumbers
“For the Dutch green courgette, it’s been a very difficult six months, mostly as a consequence of the stronger position of Spanish product. Spain is able to compete with Dutch product more and more and they’re present on the market year-round, so that the Dutch season is at risk increasingly often. Especially at times when there’s no extreme weather in Europe it’s becoming more difficult for Dutch courgette growers to maintain their position,” Aad says. “For cucumbers, just as for tomatoes, it was a great season for illuminated growers. They were able to profit from good demand this season. For non-illuminated growers it turned out to be a regular year, in which growers who had quality and productions managed to make a profit.”

Bell peppers / aubergines / peppers
“For bell peppers it has been a regular, stable year up till now. Pressure was mostly on yellow bell peppers this year, they had some difficulty making good prices after a significant expansion,” the product manager continues. “Aubergines had a difficult start, which is often seen when Spain is still on the market. But as soon as Spain left the market, prices increased, so that it has been a good year for aubergine growers so far. For Dutch peppers we also see that prices remained good last year, despite a considerable expansion.”

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