Asparagus sales are going reasonably well in the Netherlands at the moment. "We have a somewhat colder Mother's Day week behind us. It had reasonable to good price formations," Sjraar Hulsman van The Greenery says, looking back over the week.
"Demand was mostly from within the country. There was, however, also some demand from Germany. There, shortages arose due to the colder weather. At the same time, we have not been getting extreme prices. This is despite the shortages. For example, we have not yet seen auction prices of above EUR6."
"Auction prices for AA asparagus are currently at around the EUR4 to EUR4.50 mark. Luckily, we have also not seen the low prices of last year. The market has remained reasonably balanced," continues Sjraar.
"This, once again, proves that last year was an extreme year. The persistent hot weather, after the early holidays, made for a short, intense season."
"Consumers always have the idea that asparagus time is between Easter and Pentecost. Fortunately, Easter was later this year. This situation offers hope that the market will remain good for a while," the Dutch asparagus seller goes on to say.
"There are currently many growers who have protective sheets on their fields. This is to prevent the temperatures in the beds from rising too high. Until now, the nights have been reasonably cool. Production has not been too high. But it is getting warmer and cloudy weather is expected," explains Sjraar.
Supermarkets have had Class 2 asparagus on offer for two years now. According to Sjraar, there are two sides to this. "It can be a welcome addition to the assortment."
"However, then an important condition is that fruit and vegetable chefs explain well what to do with these asparagus. If it is the first time a consumer encounters this product, it could also make a less than positive impression on them."
The Greenery is promoting asparagus in May. They are doing so via the Verse Oogst (Fresh Harvest) platform (www.verseoogst.nl). The theme is #snacksperge.
To bring attention to #snacksperge, a special #snacksperge food truck will be visiting various cities in the Randstad area of the Netherlands. "It is very nice to see the reactions," says Sjraar.
"There are still many people who have never eaten asparagus. The average consumption is only about between 800 and 900g per capita. So, it is important that we pull out all the stops to increase consumption."
The green asparagus market has also improved. This is according to the asparagus seller. "There was a large supply of Spanish green asparagus for a long time. The market has now, however, been taken over by the Dutch product."
"I expect the price for this product to start rising. Farmers who have invested in good, green varieties will benefit from this. Peeled asparagus are also selling well. More and more of these kinds of asparagus are being sold every year," Sjraar concludes.