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"Dominiek Keersebilck: "This vegetable still has a lot of potential"

REO Veiling has 70% share in supply of Brussels sprouts

Officially the Brussels sprout season started again a while ago, but the real consumption will only increase when it gets colder. According to Dominiek Keersebilck of the REO Veiling there is already some harvest at the moment. 'But prices are not yet high enough that people will run to deliver them to the fresh market. At the moment the industry processes sufficient Brussels sprouts that the supply to the fresh market will also increase." Of all LAVA-Veilingen REO has a share of 70% in the supply of Brussels sprouts.

Between 1,8 and 2 million kilos
Dominiek says, "In Belgium about 2,500 HA of Brussels sprouts is cultivated. This makes us the third biggest producer in Europe. A large part is destined for the industry. It is mainly the small sprouts that go to the industry, the larger ones go to the fresh market. Annually REO Veiling sells between 1,8 and 2 million kg of Brussels sprouts. over the last couple of years the trend has reasonably stable. Although Brussels sprouts are sensitive to frost and we had some problems with that during certain periods, I expect the total volume this season to be lower than the 2 million we normally reach. This has to do with the frost in February. We reached 600 tons on 1 September this year, normally that is between 600 and 1,000 tons. In total in 2012 we also had a relatively smaller supply because of the same reason. In 2011, however, we already had a million kg. at the end of September. The winter had not carried on as much that year."



"This vegetable sometimes struggles with its specific taste"

"The price of all varieties and qualities was 34 cents on average on 23 October. Consequently the season still has to start. Brussels sprouts is a vegetable that isn't eaten a lot in Belgium. The consumption is about 700 gr per head. About one in three households in our country buys Brussels sprouts. There is potential, but it is a vegetable which has always struggled with its specific, distinct taste, despite the extensive health elements contained in the sprouts. We also notice that it is mainly older people who buy and prepare them. For that matter this is a general trend with fresh vegetables. The younger generation, often two-income families, have less time in their daily life and are not involved as much with fresh vegetables. Here there still is an important task in promoting fruit and vegetables to the younger generation."

France
"We still export more Brussels sprouts than we import. The most important customer of Belgium is France. The last few years about half of our export went to that country. The second market is Germany and we are noticing an increasing share of the Dutch trading. There is quite a bit of Dutch trading, which obtains its Brussels sprouts from West Flanders. They know their way there very well."

"In relation to consumption we cannot allow ourselves to disregard many market enquiries. We try to anticipate them and have since last year have become more active in various areas. Via our E-mediation system we can make Brussels sprouts available from an individual grower. We already have developed some market as well with 15 kg (of what the Dutch call b-sprouts) in large cases, which are now standard in front of the clock. It is packing which allows the trade to get going with small packs. it is also possible to pack small on demand. We can have this done by specialized growers in various weights from 500 gr. to small bags of 1 kg. Finally these efforts should result in a better price for the growers" Dominiek concludes.

For more information:
Dominiek Keersebilck
REO Veiling
101, Oostnieuwkerksesteenweg
B-8800 Roeselare
Tel: +32-51231206
Fax: +32-51231289
www.reo.be
info@reo.be





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