The season for Schrobenhausen asparagus has been going well so far, but is now slowly coming to an end. "We have heard from some farms in the area that they will stop harvesting in the course of the next two weeks. This is due to the fact that here in Bavaria after Whitsun the two-week vacations start and many people here go on vacation. Accordingly, demand also drops," says Claudia Westner. She is a farmer at the Schrobenhausen asparagus farm - Gut Haslangkreit as well as 1st board member of the asparagus producers association Südbayern e.V.
Claudia Westner at her stand in the Munich gardeners' hall
On her own farm, she grows asparagus on 15 hectares, of which about one hectare produces green asparagus. "We sell the asparagus in the wholesale market hall as well as through two weekly market stalls." This season, she was able to sell comparable quantities to 2022. "On our farm, marketing went well. However, I have heard of farms that have had major problems, depending on the marketing structure. The areas being stung are adjusting to demand and are now also getting less." Asparagus is usually sold in 5-kg cartons.
"There are fewer customers coming to the wholesale market, however, there are also fewer and fewer distributors. Finally, there have been some closures and mergers in recent years. Smaller traders, such as the so-called 'flying traders' in Munich, often call it a day as soon as there is a generation change," she notes.
Good asparagus season
"We had a very good asparagus year compared to the last few years, while also building a good reputation. In addition, I am now the only one offering asparagus in the nursery." According to Westner, in general, larger quantities are now more likely to be sold through self-marketing to food retailers or direct delivery to central warehouses. "I think it's a shame when more and more is sold through supermarkets instead of weekly markets. After all, a city like Munich also thrives on life happening outside. But it fails because hardly anyone wants to go out early in the morning anymore."
Asparagus is increasingly bought at the end of the week
Westner was able to maintain prices for the asparagus, and sometimes even raise them. "We benefited from the fact that fresh produce with good qualities was available to us throughout. The special situation with the vacations should certainly not be underestimated. However, the price pressure came later this year than in previous years."
Westner also noticed that asparagus was becoming a weekend vegetable. "Tuesday is the quietest day in a normal week. Wednesdays still have a lot of wholesalers coming in once a week, while Thursday and Friday are the busiest days for customers. The days right before the holidays are also very busy in terms of sales."
After Holy Week, demand was subdued, as it were, due to the Easter vacations, so it was good that there wasn't a backlog of merchandise, he said. "From the end of April, however, the weather could have quietly cooperated again - and as soon as the first rays of sunshine came, we suddenly had a surge of goods without end. We had to take the areas that were covered several times out of production again."
The Asparagus Producers Association of Southern Bavaria e.V. includes 58 member farms with 47 producers who grow asparagus on a total of 600 hectares. "From small producers with 0.5 hectares to a large producer with 100 hectares, we have a wide range. The number of farms is declining, although there is also stagnation in acreage. Nationwide, however, acreage seems to be declining anyway."
Schrobenhausen asparagus PGI does not use heating. "We do without artificial heat in any form and work only with the sun. Fitting for the customers' hunger for asparagus, which only comes with the nice weather anyway."
Schrobenhausener Spargelhof – Gut Haslangkreit
Tel. +49 82 57 / 92 87 90
Fax +49 82 57 / 92 87 92
Mobil +49 162 / 63 16 918