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More promotion needed for the kohlrabi in Australia
A leading Victorian vegetable grower says there is potential for major market growth for the kohlrabi in Australia, as consumers explore new foods and become more aware of their benefits.
Peter Schreurs and Sons grows only the green (sometimes referred to as white) variety of kohlrabi and while production is steady, the family-run business is working hard to lift the profile of the produce.
"I believe there is a good future for kohlrabi," Paul Schreurs said. "Presenting it in a more consumer friendly form will be where future expansion of this vegetable lies. Over the past 10 years sales on kohlrabi have been stagnant. We have tried various promotional activities such as cooking shows and recipe ideas sold with the product but to little affect."
The farm is situated Southeast of Melbourne, and also produces a number of vegetable lines including leeks, endive, radicchio, cos and wombok. Despite other parts of the state experiencing adverse weather events in recent months, Mr Schreurs says this has not affected their production.
"Growing conditions over the past few months have been excellent with no exceptional weather events - overall, good for growing kohlrabi," he said.
He adds most of production is taken by the local markets, with no kohlrabi being regularly exported at the moment, and there is nothing going into any of the supermarket chains.
"A major market for us is Melbourne, taking 80 per cent of the crop, then Adelaide taking 10 per cent," Mr Schreurs said. "The remainder between Sydney and Brisbane."
Mr Schreurs says the kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family, with very sweet tasting flesh that can be used in much the same way as potato or carrot.
"Being a vegetable, kohlrabi has many health benefits," he said. "We quote on our packaging: ‘A sweet, dense, crisp and crunchy green. Enjoy raw like a carrot or cooked like potato. Simply chop the skin with a knife to reveal the sweet crisp flesh inside. The leaves can also be used the same way as Kale leaves.' Also as a vegetable noodle, kohlrabi is perfect."
Kohlrabi is available from Peter Schreurs and Sons all year round. For more information and recipe ideas visit www.leeks.com.au
For more information:
Peter Schreurs and Sons
Phone: +61 3 5998 1088
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