In the Netherlands, cabbage sales have been tough for months. However, these improved drastically last month. "The month before, the situation was still bleak. It's looking much brighter now," says chairman Gert-Jan Kroon. He's the chairman of the RoDeKo growers association. It represents about 80% of Dutch cabbage growers.
The cold spring is an important reason for this upturn. That was accompanied by frost, especially in Eastern Europe. "Those countries set the pace, and the rest of the continent follows. There's demand for both red and white cabbage. Size 9/10 white cabbages' price is currently around €0.30. Red cabbage of that grade is selling at about €0.40."
RoDeKo's Gert-Jan Kroon.
Dutch cabbage stocks aren't much lower than last year. "But from a European point of view, it's not that big anyway. If there's a gap somewhere in Europe, the Dutch stock will rapidly disappear. COVID-19 measures in Europe are being relaxed. I hope that will positively affect sales. The markets and terraces were closed. That greatly impacted cabbage sales in the past months. And the pandemic still isn't over."
RoDeKo has approximately 120 members. "Over the years, that number's dropped. But the acreage remains roughly the same. The nurseries say fewer plants have been ordered for next season. So, our association's expecting an acreage reduction for the coming season," says Gert-Jan. The association's headed cabbage platform is quite active. That includes testing varieties to respond to the latest developments.
"The current erratic weather's making suitable planting days scarce. So refrigerated plant stocks are accumulating. As a cultivation company, we also have to deal with ever-increasing labor costs. The cost of raw materials like cardboard and plastic film is rising too. They take longer to be delivered as well."
According to Gert-Jan, the organic cabbage market remains a niche one. "Our company grows organic pointed cabbage and that market shows normal growth. You don't get your kilos in organic cultivation just like that. That keeps supply and demand balanced," he concludes.
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