The prices of today's lamb's lettuce quantities currently fluctuate around 5-6 euros per kg, and have fallen significantly in comparison to the pre-Christmas period. In weeks 51 and 52 there were in fact producer prices of 10 euros per kg. The majority of today's supply in the southern wholesale and weekly markets is dominated by greenhouse vegetables. Greater Nuremberg is in this respect one of the most important growing areas in Germany. “Although there is Lower Rhine and French lamb's lettuce from the open air, but those you find more often on supermarket shelves,” said Simon Höfler of the eponymous vegetable farm in Nuremberg.
According to this experienced grower, lamb's lettuce is a unique vegetable variety, especially during the winter months. Höfler: "Iceberg lettuce and Nappa cabbage are, for example, competitors, but lamb's lettuce is relatively unrivalled." In addition, from November to January almost only greenhouse products are available, so there is hardly any competition in that sense either. “Around here, for example, 99 percent of lamb's lettuce is grown in the greenhouse. There are hardly any free-range products here in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The weekly market traders and wholesalers also prefer greenhouse products, as they are generally cleaner.”
The family-owned company has a greenhouse of 6,000 square meters, which this year for the first time has been set up to be used for the Cirilla salad in the winter.'' In the last 4-5 years we have used only some 2,000 m2 for Cirilla salad, but last year we decided to use the whole area, so that the greenhouse is not empty during the winter months.” And his company is not the only one: Many medium-sized producers (between 8-12 hectares) in the Greater Nuremberg region have switched to greenhouse vegetables in recent years, as the revenues per hectare are higher. Höfler: “In the greenhouse area our region is far ahead in Germany."
Höfler Gemüse GbR is a pure family business and has existed since 1965. Today the company is led by the father, Peter senior, and mother, Elisabeth, as well as their three sons Thomas, Peter jr. and Simon. In addition to lettuce, the product range includes tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, mixed lettuce and root vegetables. Their company supplies mainly regional supermarket branches, as well as wholesale and weekly market traders. In addition to their facilities on the outskirts of town, the company also has a point of sale at the local wholesale market.
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