The Federal Statistical Office recently published new figures on vegetable and horticultural products. Their announcement caused frustration among vegetable growers.
One entrepreneur told top agrar that he sells leeks to food retailers for €0.40 to €0.55 /kg. However, due to rising costs, his actual costs stood at €0.75 /kg and the trade prevents the costs from being passed on, as is normal in other sectors. There is also a charge of €0.60 to €0.70 per crate, that retailers will bill them for. At the same time, there is a deposit fee of €4.30 to €5.00 per crate, which in turn is subject to a 'movement fee' of €0.40 to €1.00. Traders will however pay out these costs only a while later.
"Within the trade, there are always costs and the payments for deliveries comes only months later. So while growers must look for intermediate financing, traders can go on with their work as usual, in fact working with capital from the growers," says the entrepreneur.
After the price of leeks had risen slightly, it is now dropping off again due to too much product. "I am openly told that if I do not deliver now, they can order their vegetables in Belgium," the man continued. "I'm also bothered by the word 'regionality'. It says nothing more than 'from the region'. The whole of Germany can also be considered a region. Besides, how does the threat of buying goods abroad fit in there?"
In his opinion, the current situation means that only small farms that market directly or large ones that can negotiate with food retailers will survive.