Review of the German asparagus season 2019

"Classic white asparagus just does not fit with today's lifestyle"

Just over two weeks ago, it was the official end of the German asparagus season. After a tense year in 2018, with heat and high volumes on the market, it was generally curious how the situation would develop. One thing is certain: Green asparagus continues to gain in importance and could perhaps even be the salvation of the ailing sector.

Andreas List from Bärli-Spargel from Bürstadt commented on the season at the beginning of June: "We started the season very early this year and therefore it all comes to an end sooner." In general, the season was, in my opinion, satisfactory - definitely better than 2018." The cool month of May was the rescue, says the expert: "The volumes were not too large and the market could relax." Nevertheless, simply too much is being grown in Germany.

Andreas List at his booth at the Frischezentrum Frankfurt.

Green asparagus accounts for a good 10% in its marketing, but it is showing steady growth. However, he sees even greater importance in the convenience segment: "Peeled asparagus, frozen asparagus and other convenience products are on the rise, and classic white asparagus simply does not go well with today's lifestyle and small households."

He attributes no importance to foreign imports in the German market: "Imported goods do not stand a chance here." Due to the heated cultivation, we can supply the market with German goods at a very early stage. Only near the end of the season one occasionally sees cheap Polish goods, depending on the availability of local produce."

At the beginning of the season, Günter Hugenberg of the Bejo Samen was quite critical in a FreshPlaza interview. How does he feel about the 2019 harvest now? "At the beginning of the season, everything looked pretty dark, because a similar course as last year threatened, but thanks to the weather, things could relax again and the situation did not become too extreme." In his view, it was not a bad season for the producers.

Günter Hugenberg. Image: Bejo Samen GmbH

"However, the basic challenges of the sector remain: It is important for asparagus to win over all aspects of consumerism." The rethinking process has begun, but there is still much to do, says the expert. "If all goes well this year, then it's just going to continue like that, but in the long run, I see the need for a reorientation and openness to new concepts."

For the seed supplier itself, educating people is no easy task, says Hugenberg: "Intervening in asparagus marketing campaigns could certainly be helpful, but the time required is not to be underestimated. We would still like to suggest to our growers that they themselves have the opportunity to steer the course of a season and not leave their future to chance."

For more information:
Andreas List
Firma Andreas List
Gärtnersiedlung 14
68642 Bürstadt
Tel.: +49 (0) 6206 / 6068

Günter Hugenberg
Bejo Samen GmbH
Danziger Straße 29 
47665 Sonsbeck
Tel.: +49 172 2613001

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