Is the cabbage season already a write-off? The Dutch and German volumes are selling at their usual pace, but there are no gaps in the market. "The cabbage season as a whole has been dismal. It will be a write-off if things continue as they are. There are no shortages on the market, so no-one is paying. Demand, after all, determines the price", says Jan Bakker of Bakker AGF. Large white cabbages are fetching EUR0,05 per kg while the smaller sizes are going for around EUR0,23 per kg. It is the same scenario for red cabbages.
Jan does not expect the season to improve. "Even if sales were to take off, it will not save the season. When the weather in the regions around the Black Sea begins to warm up, cabbage starts to grow at an accelerated rate there. The early cabbage, even though these are generally softer, are destined for Russia, and the northern parts of Eastern Europe."
Dutch white cabbage is grown, primarily, for the export market. Compared to countries where this is a really big product, the Netherlands is small fry, explains Jan. Huge amounts of cabbages are grown in Eastern Europe countries. Thanks to the past season's good yields, the Netherlands is still in the picture. "Unfortunately for the growers, they have to keep putting money into the business to keep it afloat. For us, as traders, things are ticking over, but we cannot continue without the farmers."
It is going better with growers who specialise in pointed cabbage. "Compared to white cabbage, this is a minor product. Pointed cabbage is a speciality cultivation, and they are also stored in a specific way. Pointed cabbage is stored in oxygen-poor cooling cells and is sealed when they are packaged. They have a longer shelf-life, and there is a demand for these. Carrots are also faring better."
For more information:Bakker International Cold Storage Transport