Kees Jansen, Teelt- en Verpakkingsbedrijf Gebroeders Jansen:

Aging in leek cultivation

The summer of 2019 is clearly a better summer than last year for leek grower Kees Jansen of the Gebroeders Jansen from Etten-Leur. The stock in cold storage was sold by Pentecost, after which it was time to start harvesting the summer leek. "The sale of the leeks is surprising me at the moment, we are currently getting great prices for our leek," says Kees. “In the course of the summer, the yield will continue to increase somewhat every week. The prices are favorable for the leek and the production is up to standard."

Dry, but not warm
"Last year was also a good year for the leek, but we did have to deal with a hot and dry summer," says Kees. “This year it is also a dry summer but without the high temperatures. The leek can therefore grow nicely at the moment with the help of irrigation. In total, however, fewer kilos of leeks are harvested because many leek growers have stopped."

“In addition to a few growers who can no longer make ends meet, also because of a bad season in 2017-2018, there are many aging. Many companies do not have a successor ready to take over and therefore have to stop. More growers will stop in the coming years. The average age is around 55-60 years and there is hardly any new growers entering. In the last few years, only one new leek grower has joined the sector. The lack of new growers is characteristic for the entire open field sector. I do think that with leek it plays a somewhat bigger role than with other cultivation companies."

Much still happens manually
In addition to the aging population, there are plenty of other challenges in the sector. “A few examples are the rules concerning crop protection products and finding enough employees. We grow year round and that is sometimes difficult during the holiday periods. People then have a holiday but the supermarkets expect that we can supply all year round. Automation should cope with these problems. Yet many tasks are still done manually such as cleaning the leek and the final check. ”

For more information:
Teelt-en verpakkingsbedrijf Gebroeders Jansen B.V.
Naaldstraat 1 
4873 LZ Etten-Leur
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)765264397
GSM Kees: +31 (0)6-21577134
GSM Antoon: +31 (0)6-21577135

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