The last month of the Dutch asparagus season is here again. "We're not dissatisfied. Price-wise, it was definitely a good season, with no lows," says Will Teeuwen of Teboza. "However, this season's erratic weather made planning particularly difficult."
"We have no control over that but have to, nonetheless, deal with it daily. The next few days to weekly weather forecasts often changed quickly, so sometimes you got a completely different scenario within 24 hours. That made it extremely hard to make agreements with market players concerning volumes. Prices remained good, though. They're still at around €6 for AA asparagus, which is great for this time of year," Will explains.
"The weather certainly helped consumption. White asparagus doesn't need temperatures of more than 25°C. The season, thus, didn't come down to consumption. It's just that the volumes to run big campaigns were lagging. We expect production to be 20-25% less than planned, which is substantial. Nevertheless, that doesn't have to affect the end result negatively. What's evident is that with these lower productions, cost prices rise significantly. After all, if you move more volume, you can keep cost prices lower."
"Initially, we thought we'd catch up in June, but that's not going to happen. Although it's now 24-25°C regionally during the day, nighttimes are still cool. Fortunately, demand remained good; the sector's joint promotional campaign undoubtedly contributed to that," says Teeuwen.
"Production shouldn't be expected to rise in Northern Europe in the coming years. Acreage is shrinking, and asparagus cultivation has suffered from the dry summers. It can handle one dry summer, but several in a row definitely affects productions."
This year, Teboza experimented with the AVL Motion harvesting robot. "We have yet to take stock, but we've made more headway with this these past years. We'll do a final evaluation once the season's over and decide what to focus on in the coming years," Will concludes.