“So far we can say that 2019/2020 was a good year for the chicory sector. Supply and demand were well balanced and this winter the price of chicory was at a high level, ”says Yves D`Hauwers from De Smet. “In our estimation, the demand for chicory has been fairly stable for years. However, the number of chicory growers is decreasing, but the growers that remain are becoming bigger. Due to the scaling up of the companies, there is quite a bit of competition on the market, which is unlikely to decrease in the coming years. Companies need to see investments made pay off and depend less and less on help from family."
“In Belgium, chicory is on the list of the most consumed vegetables. As a result, we do not think there is an exponential growth in demand.
It is a vegetable that is recognised by young and old as a Belgian product and therefore forms part of our national heritage.
In our opinion, the aging of the population will certainly not result in a decrease in consumption. We must, however, pay attention to the way in which consumers will purchase their food in the future. In recent years there has been a shift to the short chain, "says Yves.
There is a demand for organic chicory in Belgium, but the market remains very small. "The demand could increase in the coming years, but it is very cumbersome for larger companies to grow organic chicory in addition to their normal chicory." D`Hauwers continues.
“Various research centers in countries where chicory is an important product, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, are also working on new chicory varieties. Improving various elements of the basic product is essential for the future of our sector, for fighting diseases and being able to better store roots."
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