Jan Reymers, Managing Director of Gemüsehandel Reymers at Hamburg wholesale market:

"We are known for our iceberg lettuce, which is why many customers come to us explicitly for this product"

The Reymers family vegetable farm, which started operations in 1904, is located in Buchholz in the Nordheide region near Hamburg. The business is managed by Dierk Reymers, while his brother Jan Reymers takes over the management of the wholesale stand in Hamburg. We spoke with Jan Reymers on site about the current situation of iceberg lettuce.

Jan Reymers

Good demand, but lots of competition
"On approximately 170 hectares, my brother grows iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, colorful lettuces such as Lollo Rosso and Lollo Bionda, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, broccoli and zucchini, among other things. We deliver these to various Edeka central warehouses, as well as to customers here at the wholesale market and to distributors who sell the produce to restaurants and smaller retailers," Reymers says. His goods are also sold to convenience processors, who show particular interest in the lollo salads.

At summertime, he says, competition in the iceberg lettuce sector comes mainly from the Netherlands, although their goods are no longer as low-priced as before due to rising logistics prices. Demand for iceberg lettuce is good, he said, though there is also a lot of produce available on the market at the moment, which is putting some pressure on the price. "We are known for our iceberg lettuce, which is why many customers come to us explicitly for this product. The qualities are good, although they could be a tad better, as it has been a bit dry lately. We're watering the lettuces as best we can, though."

Tense mood due to cultivation costs
While Reymers could not yet provide specific numbers regarding the price increase of iceberg lettuce, he said an increase is to be expected, especially since fertilizers as well as pesticides have increased in price by up to 50 percent and packaging by 30-40 percent. "These are all small factors, but they will have a cumulative effect on the product." However, he said, an increase in production and cultivation costs can be expected.

"I've heard from colleagues in the Palatinate that they are looking into whether more outlets for loose radishes are possible in the future," he said. After all, the bundled product is quite labor-intensive and thus also cost-intensive. However, the trade has always been firmly committed to radishes in bundles. In general, however, I notice that the mood throughout the industry is somewhat tense in view of the cost situation," Reymers concludes.

For more information:
Jan Reymers
Gemüsehandel Reymers GmbH
Großmarkt Hamburg, Gang K, 398 - 399
Banksstraße 28
20097 Hamburg
Tel: +49 40 32870877

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