More compact roots
Chicory is not selling well. The larger sizes, in particular, are experiencing a drop in prices. The supply and demand for the smaller sizes are more in balance. "Market prices for, especially, the larger chicory are very low. I have seen prices of EUR0,35, which is very much below cost price", says Kristha Heibrink, of the Dutch LOF Chicory Farm. "We have made an in-house decision that unless we get a minimum price of EUR0,50 per kg for the chicory, we are not willing to supply it. It is not just about getting that last penny, as we still need to be able to pay our people. More growers should do this. We are still selling each week; so it can be done."
This year, the chicory roots are generally denser. This has resulted in the chicory being larger with more compact heads. "At this time of year, with carnival, holidays and the trade fair, the demand for chicory is lower in general. Since there are larger sizes, the supply far outweighs the demand", says Kristha. The chicory's quality is good with few problems reported, and LOF Chicory Farm has only (disease-free) containers. There is, therefore, a good basis. "Quality problems are sometimes reported by customers in far-off destinations. The transportation, itself, can be blamed for this. When the refrigeration does not work properly, quality issues quickly arise."
LOF Chicory Farm supply mainly importers and exporters. Their chicory goes to a number of distant destinations. "We even directly supply customers in Israel and Spain. Our chicory goes as far as the USA via the importers and exporters. Most of it, however, ends up in Germany and Italy, which are real chicory-loving countries."
Radicchio is a product that is mostly sent to foreign countries. "We cultivate radicchio for our regular foreign customers. It is not easy to find in the Netherlands. At open days we do see that visitors are curious about this product. They ask where it can be bought, but, unfortunately, there are no fixed sales outlets", explains Kristha.
For more information:
8311 PL Espel
Tel. +31 (0)527 271 616
Fax. +31 (0)527 271 032