Last year's dry summer is still affecting the leek market. "Considerably fewer kgs are being harvested. The current weather is not growth weather. This means we are also waiting longer for new leeks," says Paul van den Elzen. He is from the company of the same name based in Uden, the Netherlands.
"This all results in a good price level of about EUR1,20 per kg. The trade sector has to get used to this. But you get value for money because, in my opinion, the leeks' quality has never been this good."
"This is a different story than other years when prices were sometimes on the EUR0,30 to EUR0,40 level. We, however, need something extra after all our efforts from last summer," Paul continues.
He is confident that refrigerated leek prices will remain stable for the coming five weeks. That is, until the new leeks come onto the market. "The prices do not have to be EUR2 because then you sell nothing. However, above one euro is good enough."
"The supply of overseas leeks is decreasing daily. Stocks in Belgium are also quickly coming to an end," explains the grower. He is looking forward to helping a wide range of clients. "We sell to clients ranging from supermarkets up to processors. The Netherlands is an important market for us."
"However, we also sell our leeks in Eastern and Southern Europe, the United States, and Japan. We have an acreage of more than 200 hectares of our own cultivation. This means we can serve our clients throughout the year."
According to Paul, the total leek acreage has declined in recent years. "There are already a good number of farmers that have stopped. And companies that stop do not start up again."
"However, some expansion is expected in the autumn leek sector; particularly when it comes to farmers who grow for the industry. The companies that remain are also not growing. Not only do you have to have arranged sales, but it is also difficult to get enough staff. People can find jobs anywhere these days," Paul concludes.