Bavaria: Ulrich Goldstein on the marketing of packaged goods to food retailers

"Subdued early potato volumes are marketed at persistently high prices"

The marketing of table potatoes and onions produced in the previous season is now also in the final spurt in the Free State of Bavaria. "German onions in the pack calibers 50-70 and 70-90 are still available in sufficient quantities, so that we have been able to cover the needs of our LEH customers with regional goods without any problems so far. The price situation is also okay overall. Despite the high market prices, sales of both products are at a stable, steady level," Ulrich Goldstein, managing director of the packaging company of the same name in Zellingen, Lower Franconia, tells us.

Regional onions in BigBags: Due to the lower price, the red onion has gained market share in the past year, which is why the cultivation area has been expanded.

The last onions from last year's harvest are expected to be marketed in week 24, Goldstein predicts. After that, the company will rely mostly on imported onions from New Zealand. "There should be less product shipped to Europe this year due to the March flood. However, as a medium-sized packing company, we should be able to meet the demand without too many problems. The imported onions from Spain and Chile, on the other hand, are more suitable for the catering trade. But that is not a market segment in which we operate."

Packaged onions for food retail. For both potatoes and onions, he said, the trend has already been clearly moving toward smaller packaged containers for years.

German early potato season in the starting blocks
In the potato sector, early table potatoes are increasingly dominating the scene. Goldstein: "The first loose-skinned potatoes from the Palatinate will hit the market from week 23, but we will not start with firm-skinned early potatoes for the food retail programs until two weeks later." Wet and cold field conditions have delayed the start of harvest for early potatoes in the Palatinate, Lower Rhine and Lower Saxony by about a week. The same is true for planting of storage potatoes, Goldstein said. "Accordingly, there will also be a delay later in the main harvest, but to what extent cannot be estimated at present."

Goldstein's company has been based in Zellingen, Lower Franconia, for many years.

Meanwhile, early potatoes from Egypt are predominantly packed in Goldstein's hall. "Not only in Egypt, but also in Spain and Israel, only restrained quantities are being loaded this year, which in turn are being marketed at persistently high prices. We are about 25 percent above last year's level. To talk of a further price adjustment would be highly speculative. I could imagine that the pain threshold has now been reached," explains the potato merchant.

Insight into the production hall of the Goldstein company

Declining cultivation of table potatoes
Bavaria has traditionally been one of the most important potato-growing regions in (southern) Germany. In recent years, the cultivation of table potatoes in particular has lost importance, observes Goldstein. "This is precisely related to several factors, including the lack of farm succession, small-scale agriculture and the attractiveness of alternative crops. However, those who have the know-how and the technology will continue to dedicate themselves to growing table potatoes."

Images: Goldstein Agrarhandelsgesellschaft mbH

Further information:
Ulrich Goldstein
Goldstein Agrarhandelsgesellschaft mbH
Oberbachring 4
97225 Zellingen
Telefon: +49 9364 9908
Telefax: +49 9364 3731

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