Dutch organic onion sets' quality is disappointing. Organic onions will, however, have a good season. That is Guido Aaldering's cautious prediction. The market was not yet very exciting at the start of September.
"We're mainly dealing with fusarium and internal rot," Guido says about the onion sets' inferior quality. "As far as that allows, we try to sell the onions fresh. They're of too poor quality to go to the industry."
Market under pressure
Organic onion growers in the Netherlands started harvesting three weeks later than usual. "On the one hand, it was too wet to harvest. On the other, growers wanted to wait. They said the price wasn't good yet."
"But when you wait, everything comes on the market at once. So, farmers haven't been able to catch up with those three weeks of sales. Especially now that German and Austrian growers are also bringing their onions to market."
There was little demand for either seed onions or sets in September. That was partly due to the vacation, says Guido. Overseas demand is lagging too. "Everyone finishes their own onions first. If you want to grow onion sets, you have to get in there early, he adds.
As for seed onions, more is expected from them. "Everyone thinks they'll reach good prices. That's also to be expected because all the growers have grubbed fewer of these. Average yields are lower than other years," Guido concludes.
Lower yields mean greatly reduced off-land supplies too. Dutch farmers are well-able to store their own onions. They do not have to rely on external storage for that.