Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Fabian Etter from Gamper Vegetables on the Swiss chicory season:

'The quality of our chicory has been surprisingly good so far'

Reflecting on a challenging first half of the season due to below-average root yields in Switzerland, "The autumn was exceptionally wet, impacting field conditions significantly. Fortunately, we were able to harvest our roots before Christmas. Despite the moisture, the quality of both organic and conventional produce has been surprisingly good, though the sizes are somewhat below average. This year, we've been more lenient, accepting smaller roots we would typically discard," explains Fabian Etter of Gamper & Co. Gemüsekulturen, a leading chicory producer and marketer.

Typically, each 500g package contains three to five sprouts. The recommended retail prices in Switzerland are almost at the level of the previous year.

The demand in the initial sales months of the new season has been relatively strong. "However, the total yield was somewhat uncertain, which is why we didn't want to push sales too aggressively. Anticipating a shortage, we cancelled promotions in both segments. Yet, there were phases, especially in the conventional segment, where we almost had too much stock. Such oversupply is also currently noticeable, attributed to unusually high daytime temperatures around 14 degrees, which slows down the chicory sales. Thus, February has been a rather weak sales month," says Etter.

Since 2016, Gamper has also been producing organic chicory in addition to conventional varieties.

Red chicory as a stable niche
In addition to white chicory, the Eastern Swiss company also focuses on the production and marketing of red chicory. Here too, yields have been below average this year, albeit with relatively good quality, continues Etter. "Red chicory represents just under ten percent of our total production volume, yet over the years, it has proven to be a stable niche. Accordingly, we are pleased to offer this product. The forcing process is somewhat more challenging, as red chicory is not grown in a separate forcing chamber due to the small production volumes. Strictly speaking, red chicory requires slightly different temperature management compared to white. The sprout sizes and thus the yields are also significantly lower for red chicory."

Last year, there was a comprehensive relaunch of the unified brand SwissDiva for the Swiss domestic market. Swiss chicory is available at almost all major retail chains in Switzerland.

Overall consumption in Switzerland has remained relatively stable in recent years. Gamper does not expect significant fluctuations in the coming years. "However, I see the root production as being quite bleak, mainly due to further restrictions on approved plant protection products, especially herbicides, making root cultivation almost impossible in the long run. There are already root producers who have ceased operations, though this has not yet been reflected in the total area. We still secure the required areas for root production each year, but it is becoming increasingly difficult."

A glimpse into the forcing room. Both white and red chicory sprouts grow and thrive in the forcing crates.

Images: Gamper & Co. Gemüsekulturen

For more information:
Fabian Etter
Gamper & Co. Gemüsekulturen
Hauptstrasse 4
9507 Stettfurt
Tel. 052 376 12 57
Fax 052 376 12 56

Publication date: