The fields of the Janßen family in Waldfeucht, Germany, are showing developments. Both white and green asparagus are grown on an area of more than 40 hectares. Because part of the field is heated, the season starts early for them, and the first asparagus are harvested about six weeks before the traditional start of the harvest.
Expectations for the coming season are tempered, in part due to last year’s bad yields, according to senior manager Herbert Janßen. “The market was simply saturated. This, combined with the warm weather means a lot of growers were forced to reduce their areas, and some even decided to quit completely. We’re therefore very curious what’ll happen this year.” The experienced grower personally hopes for limited volumes and more changeable weather.
According to Janßen, import products aren’t a major competition. “Because we now start so early in the season, the products from Greece and the Netherlands are barely on the market when we start selling. German consumers just prefer domestic product, and regional product when possible.” To bring a bit more variation to their assortment, the growers also offers more and more green asparagus: “Because we start supplying white asparagus increasingly earlier, people now also want green asparagus in the pre-season. We’re now trying to meet that demand.” The early production of this green vegetable is – despite the heated fields – clearly more complicated, all the more because even the slightest frost can destroy the entire production.
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