The cold weather arriving in Europe is causing excitement in the celeriac market. "The local crops must be brought in or harvested, regardless, especially in Eastern Europe; otherwise, their shelf life begins to decline. If this cold continues, I expect more space for our tubers in the second half of the season. But if the skies stay open until Christmas, we'll keep struggling for a while," says Pierre Sweep.
"We've harvested 75% of our celeriac crop. It remains to be seen what the harvest will look like in Belgium and France with all the rain they've had. In the Netherlands, yields have varied greatly - more so than in other years - from good to on the light side. So, it won't be a top harvest."
"But there's no question of a catastrophe either. Before the season, there was slight panic about whether there was enough plant material, but it all came together. I must say I'm pleased with the seed breeding companies' efforts. They've developed some promising new varieties," Pierre explains.
"Current sales are going quite well, but not spectacularly. All European destinations participate, but sales everywhere are ordinary, with no big outliers. Prices are normal, too." Marketing the tubers as meat substitutes certainly offers potential, says the trader, but that is still in the trial phase. "Celeriac, though, with its texture, fits perfectly into the vegetarian trend. Sales towards those channels are still limited volume-wise, but the ball could start rolling slowly, and then we're at least in the right corner with our product," Pierre concludes.