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Native goji berry at ExpoSE

Pioneer grower Klaus Umbach delivers nationwide

Goji berries are known nationwide as a healthy fruit, mainly imported from China. However, for a number of years there have also local growers such as Klaus Umbach from Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg. He started in 2010 as goji berry pioneer with just under a hectare of land, with the cultivation and selection of different varieties. Currently he not only supplies his own three farm shops but also wholesalers, retailers and catering companies throughout the Federal Republic, selling both plants and fruits. "Especially demand from wholesalers is extremely large."

The story of Klaus Umbach is that of a successful entrepreneur who saw the potential of his prime product early on. The owner of Bioland Nursery was originally interested in traditional Chinese medicines for health reasons. The grower knew of the universal life energy that is attributed to the "Ji" of the goji berry and of its high vitamin content.

The company in four pictures: Owner Klaus Umbach (top left), packaged goji berries (top right) and the crops (left and bottom right)

Native goji berry
Together with a friend and fellow grower cultivation began on one single hectare. Edeka was their main customer, but most varieties were not cultivable and after three years everything was cleared again and replanted with their own selection, ‘Turgidus’.

After a disappointment such as this most people would turn their backs on the berries. Not Umbach, who considered this failure to be a challenge. For Umbach, the unique taste of the berries was the reason to continue with just the Turgidus variety, at the time only three percent of his total acreage. "The cultivation of this variety is more elaborate, but the fruit has a sweeter taste, can be harvested earlier, is resistant to mildew and gall mites and contains more ingredients than any other variety. In addition to all that, this variety hardly sprawls."

Goji berries from his own fields are bright red

Despite his negative first experiences, the grower was always convinced of the potential for goji berries. Now there is success: the ‘German organic goji berry’ is in high demand in the food retail industry. Furthermore Umbach markets his produce directly, using three farm shops and a webshop. "We also supply organic wholesalers with both plants and fresh fruits."

The berry prices are between 5 and 7 euros per 30 gram cup. The harvest of 2017 ended in October, much like tomatoes in the field.

For more information:
Gärtnerei Umbach
Inh. Klaus Umbach
Klinge 2 - Staufenberger Weg
74074 Heilbronn
Telephone: +49 07131 58960-0 
Telephone (private): +49 07131 58960-13 

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