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Matthias Schamel on the challenging horseradish campaign:

"Raw materials remain very tight"

In terms of both marketing and raw material procurement, this year's horseradish campaign is proving extremely difficult. "In recent years, we have already seen significant price increases, but this year we are facing huge additional costs, of up to 35 percent. The biggest price drivers are increased operating costs, such as fertilizers and minimum wages," says Matthias Schamel, managing director of the traditional company of the same name based in Baiersdorf.

Despite all the challenges, he says, the pungent root vegetables are still in sufficient supply, thanks to the producer structure built up over decades with contract growers in Bavaria and long-standing business relationships in Austria and Hungary. Meanwhile, marketing of horseradish products is more difficult than usual as well, Schamel confirms. "Due to inflation, all foodstuffs have become more expensive overall, which is why consumers tend to be more cautious in their purchases. This is reflected in the demand within the trade. For organic horseradish in particular, 2022 has not been conducive. Eating habits are also changing, so it is increasingly important to show the diversity of horseradish and its uses in modern and conscious food culture."

Matthias Schamel and Wolfgang Schöppl, together at the helm of the traditional Bavarian company.

Comprehensive brand relaunch
According to Schamel, there is still no easing of the market situation in sight, but he is confident that horseradish will once again become the focus of consumers in the medium to long term. "It is a super-healthy, nutrient-rich vegetable, and Bavarian horseradish in particular stands out with its long tradition and 100 percent guarantee of origin and regional processing. We have noticed that the status of horseradish still has potential, especially among the younger generation, and as the market leader we have set ourselves the task of making horseradish significantly more popular and younger again," says Schamel, referring among other things to the upcoming brand relaunch. Further marketing steps are being taken by Sponsoring an Ultra Trail Run and a cycling team. Apart from that, there is the constant extension of the vegan horseradish assortment.

Horseradish from Schamel

Showing potential
In order to maintain the high quality of Bavarian horseradish and ensure sustainable development in all areas to protect the product, a few months ago, the "Horseradish Competence Team" was established. All areas of the value chain, from cultivation to the finished product, are represented in the competence team.

"Horseradish cultivation is particularly labor-intensive and demanding: cultivating one hectare means about 1,000 working hours. Our goal is to test alternative cultivation methods and increase efficiency along the chain. Climate change, the use of water resources, and the optimization of storage and processing are also important. It is a matter close to our hearts to show tomorrow's farmers the potentials so that horseradish cultivation becomes increasingly attractive in competition with other crops such as sunflowers and cereals."

Raw materials

Images: Schamel Meerrettich Ltd & Co.

More information:
Matthias Schamel
Schamel Meerrettich GmbH & Co. KG 
Johann-Jakob-Schamel-Platz 1
D-91083 Baiersdorf
Tel.: +49 (0) 9133 / 7760 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 9133 / 7760 - 88   

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