The price of oversized potatoes on the Austrian domestic market reached a new low last week. Until a few weeks ago, 0.07 Euro/kg was paid for large tubers, but in the meantime the price has fallen to 0.05 Euro/kg. The catastrophic price drop is causing problems for Lower Austrian producer Detter as well: Therefore, the cultivation and trading company has decided to offer this year's potatoes abroad, Managing Director Stefan Detter reports.
"At present, a great deal of potatoes are being harvested on the 50-hectare site of the Detter Fruchthof. The following varieties are offered: Ditta (about 400 tons), Belmonda (about 150 tons), Concordia, Jelly, Valdivia. We have been able to plant our potatoes early this year, due to the good weather conditions. However, in April and May there was too little rain, so the plants only progressed a little. Then there was a lot of rainfall at once, which led to a high proportion of oversized plants."
Stefan Detter usually offers his potatoes in three different packaging units, namely loose in big bags or boxes and as bagged goods of 10 or 25 kg.
Fruchthof Detter so far focused primarily on supplying the domestic food retail trade. In the area of Brussels sprouts, the grower has been the main supplier to Spar stores throughout Austria for many years. Other open field vegetables - such as leeks, celery and onions - are also marketed primarily within Austria's borders. "There are two reasons why we are currently aiming for export at all. Firstly, we currently receive far too little money for our products."
In addition to this, the family-owned company sees good sales opportunities for the outsized products in Eastern Europe. "Secondly, we have noticed to our surprise that the larger potatoes are particularly popular with our Romanian employees and harvest workers. Therefore we thought that our large potatoes could find a sales channel in the Romanian and Bulgarian area in particular."
But it would be great to also be selling a part of the yield in nearby foreign countries. "Italy would clearly be an additional market of choice for us. Not only because the country is on our doorstep, but also because it is very interesting in terms of price," Detter explains. Furthermore, it would also be possible to offer potatoes in combination with other field vegetables from Detter's own fields. "In addition to potatoes, we also have home-grown leeks, for which there would certainly be potential on the foreign market. We have reached the sales limit for Spar with our main products, but we still want to expand our vegetable cultivation. This would only be possible if we could export abroad. "