At Teboza, the new Dutch asparagus season is about to start again. "We will start harvesting in the heated greenhouses this week. From Monday, the first asparagus will be available again, " says this company's Director, Will Teeuwen. Asparagus acreage is lower in the Netherlands this year. Contrary to the market, Teboza has chosen to expand. This company is based in Helden, in the Dutch province of Limburg.
Will and Trudie Teeuwen.
"We are expecting to have a good season. The conditions for preparing the beds have been good, in any case. Last year, it was too dry for that. We had to irrigate extra in November and December. This year, however, we had enough rain, so we could ready the beds. That benefits the asparagus' quality. The mild winter we had will undoubtedly affect the asparagus' girth size. After all, the milder the weather, the thinner the asparagus."
"Asparagus actually need colder weather. But, in my opinion, we do not really have winters anymore. We not only had a mild winter. The past two dry summers also have an effect on production. I, therefore, expect a lower total available volume. That is also the case in our neighboring countries," says Will.
"We expect our asparagus to be in Dutch stores from week 11/12. Last year, we had a nice early season. We still have to wait and see about that. There is, however, an undiminished interest from supermarkets. White asparagus remains the top seller in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. But, every year, you do see a growing interest in green asparagus."
"Younger consumers, in particular, like to buy these. As a result of this, we are reaching a target group we might not have reached so easily in the past. Not with white asparagus. Nowadays, green asparagus is always on the agenda when we meet with the supermarkets," explains the grower.
According to Teeuwen, the Dutch asparagus acreage has decreased slightly. "There are a few older farmers who have decided to stop. Or who do not want to invest any more in their crops. You see several growers that have been forced to stop farming too. This was after the bad year in 2018. They were also not able to get enough room to breathe in 2019. So, they could not continue investing in their businesses. As a result, lower volumes of asparagus are expected in the years to come."
Teboza has chosen to keep expanding steadily. Despite this, according to Will, the challenges have grown. "Costs have increased. For example, wages skyrocketed this year. All the while, finding staff is already a major challenge. All in all, you have to do your best more often to get the same results from the soil. It is, therefore, not enough to just be a good asparagus farmer anymore."
"More demand is being made on your business savvy. I also think we must do even better in the agricultural and horticultural sectors. We must show how well we are going in the area of sustainability. Consumers are not always aware of this. We at Teboza want to put a lot of effort into this," Will concludes.
Teboza will have a stand at Fruit Logistica in Hall 1.2 A-17.
For more information:
5988 NW Helden, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 773 071 444
Fax: +31 (0) 773 077 398