More demand than supply, that is the story of this asparagus season in a nutshell. "You can see that the relatively cold temperatures with nights below 10 degrees considerably temper production. In terms of supply, we are always just behind the times. This is not bad for sales, because we have not yet had any major supply peaks and, given the weather forecasts, this will remain the case for some time. You will therefore not hear many growers complaining," observes Will Teeuwen of Teboza.
"At the same time, demand continues to be good. Demand from the retail sector has been good all season, and because of the relaxation this week, demand from the catering sector has increased considerably. Nobody has stock, so if all restaurants ask for one crate of asparagus, you already have a lot of trade," Will says. "This results in good prices for the time of year. I also don't expect prices to go to a low point again this season, as we saw in 2017 and 2018, for example. For a peak in harvest, we need real summer weather with temperatures above 25 degrees and it doesn't look like that is coming over the next few weeks."
Will and Trudie Teeuwen and Rik Kursten of Teboza
"Meanwhile, the early cold cultivation with mini tunnels is already halfway through production. The first fields will be out of production in two or three weeks. Normal cultivation is now getting underway and is taking over from heated cultivation and greenhouse cultivation. We are still growing good volumes and can also run retail campaigns, but there are no surpluses, so that is good for sales, of course. However, we have seen serious shortages of green asparagus on the market throughout the season, but that is also due to the weather conditions in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. The availability will increase somewhat by the middle of next week at the earliest," the grower expects.
"Overseas exports are not yet at 2019 levels, but we are going a long way in that direction. Exports in Europe are continuing well. The other outdoor supply is limited due to the cold weather, so asparagus is in extra demand," says Will. The selective harvesting robot Sparter that we have purchased is doing a good job, he says. "At Teboza we see this year as a learning year to find out on which plots and which varieties we can use the ideal harvesting machine. We are therefore not yet at the level we want to be at, but we had also taken that into account and so far the Sparter is working as expected."