At Ortolanda Borgo Grappa the busy winter season in radish has burst loose once again. "Our peak is from November to April," says the Dutchman Willem-Jan Coolbergen, who runs the Italian cultivation company with a total of no less than 55 hectares of radish in tunnel greenhouses.
The course of the season is the opposite from last year. "It was very cold in early spring back then, which immediately caused high prices, but it got warmer in November and the sales were difficult until the start of January. This year the open ground season throughout Europe was good due to the warm autumn weather and all of the sown product was harvested. This resulted in a more difficult start for us with lower prices, as we normally start up our programmes in November."
"This year November was a meagre month in Europe for radish, but when winter got going and the open ground radish is off the market, the sales and prices shot up," continues Willem-Jan. "The prices towards Christmas were particularly high, as there is a lot of demand and less supply. Our radish travels across Europe, in which Switzerland, Austria and Germany as the main participants."
Santa's little radish helpers
He looks towards this year with positivity. "I'm positive as far as cultivation and sales are concerned. The changing laws in Brussels about the use of pesticides are a headache for us, but this is our challenge for 2018, as Ortolanda is a flexible company, which can quickly play into changing conditions."