With the clearing of the first German winter onions, the new onion season officially began a few days ago. Onions are now also being diligently grubbed in the fields of Zwiebel Jansen Ltd, Managing Director Hermann-Josef Jansen informs us upon request. "We are starting the new season pretty much identical to last year and the first forecasts regarding yields and qualities are quite promising."
Except for smaller residual quantities of alternative Dutch onions, the market is almost cleared, according to Jansen. "Large products for peeling, primarily 70+, has unfortunately been scarce all year. The same was true for red onions." The latter can also be procured domestically, in parallel with the yellows. Jansen: "According to current information, on the other side of the border, both in Germany and in the Netherlands, area expansions of red onions should have taken place. However, at the end of August, i.e. at the beginning of the main harvest, the cards will be reshuffled again and a reasonable interim balance can be drawn."
Cost increases of 25-30% in onion storage
Similar to many other areas of fruit and vegetable production, huge cost increases have been seen in the onion sector, he said. However, these additional costs are not so much related to growing as they are to storage. "Due to the extreme market and price fluctuations, fixed prices are very desirable on the part of the buyer. Except for fertilizer, cost increases in onion production are nevertheless manageable; there we're talking maybe about 15 percent. Storage, on the other hand, is a major cost factor, for example due to the use of liquid gas during drying and electricity for ventilation. Accordingly, increased storage costs of 25-30 percent can be expected."
The Jansen company in Brüggen in the Lower Rhine region has been dedicated to processing as well as selling onions for 30 years now, with the raw material coming mainly from its own cultivation. "We have found a good market position over the years and will be able to continue to operate competitively in the coming years, despite numerous challenges."
Declining demand in meat industry, out-of-the-home market recovers
As a medium-sized company, Zwiebel Jansen is able to react flexibly and agilely to market developments, he said. "During the pandemic, people increasingly grilled at home which clearly played into the cards of the meat industry and increased the demand for onion products. This sales segment is now on the decline, while the out-of-home market is on the upswing again. Demand in the latter segment is currently back at pre-Corona levels," Jansen concludes.
Images: Zwiebel Jansen GmbH