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Green aspirations for Norwegian asparagus grower
With unusual weather conditions plaguing many growers across the world, Bernt said that the weather has been good this year for the green asparagus grower. There was a dip in the temperatures last week, but this was while stores were closed for a public holiday, so there was no drop in sales.
(Article photos provided by Sigmund Barø)
Current asparagus prices range from 150 to 105 NOK per kilogram ($18-12.60 USD).
Norwegian toll barriers on most vegetables makes it difficult for many producers to compete on the open EU-market, but these tolls don't apply to asparagus which allows growers to compete on the same level as other countries. Outside of the asparagus produced domestically, most imports come from Spain and South America.
"Norwegian cost levels and labour fees have created a major challenge for us. However, the unique flavour of our asparagus has a different flavor than imports from other countries, as recently proven by a consumer report from Nofima. We are really proud of our product and were recently awarded the Unique Taste Foodmark." shared Freberg.
Hvasser has been focussed on brand marketing in 2016 for their asparagus and the company has seen a significant increase in demand over the last year. They started planting green asparagus back in 2012 and are in a good position for further expansion on the 17 hectares they have available. Although production in Norway tends to be limited to green asparagus, Bernt said that white is also popular in the country and they are considering producing this in the future as well.
"Only one percent of Norway´s area is arable land and we are growing in one of the best agricultural parts of Norway. Our asparagus is located in one field with deep soil of old seabed which seems to provide extraordinarily good conditions for quality asparagus." concludes Freberg.
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