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Christian Pielken from Vitfrisch Gemüse-Vertrieb eG

"Regarding cabbages, one or two harvesting gaps are already becoming apparent"

The harvest of open-field vegetables this year has been rather 'a-rhythmic' due to the wet, cold weather. "The planting of young plants is also starting later, which means - especially in the area of cabbages - one or two gaps in the harvest are already emerging. For instance, cauliflower requires night temperatures above ten degrees, which simply isn't happening at the moment. The same goes for iceberg lettuce: this crop also needs to develop more weight. This means, if sales were to accelerate now through promotions and the like, there would be too few follow-up batches, as would have been the case under normal circumstances with higher temperatures. Therefore, the delivery rhythm with constant quantities, as one would like, is simply not there. On the other hand, there have been good availabilities and excellent qualities for mixed lettuces and head lettuce so far," says Christian Pielken, Managing Director of vitfrisch Gemüse-Vertrieb eG in Soest.

Right: Vitfrisch not only focuses on the distribution of domestic vegetable products but also offers additional services in cross-docking and logistics. Christian Pielken manages the Soest location.

In contrast to open-field vegetables, the supply situation for greenhouse crops has been mostly pleasing so far, Pielken continues. "In the category of greenhouse vegetables, we are currently observing a rapid turnover. However, the current supply situation for cucumbers is somewhat tighter due to the plant change, which in turn contributes significantly to the good, stable price level. I would wish - also considering the disastrous prices last year - especially for the producers, that this positive price development continues throughout the season. After all, we also need covering prices for our producers so that they can continue to cultivate economically."

Insight into lettuce cultivation in the open field. For open-field vegetables and lettuces, prices have been mostly high and stable. Pielken expects a tight, stable market situation until the end of the month.

Rising demand for hydroponic salads
vitfrisch Gemüse-Vertrieb operates two locations in Neckarsulm and Soest and supplies the retail trade, wholesale, and the fresh-cut industry. Over the past years, the product portfolio has been gradually expanded. Since last year, they have been offering hydroponic lettuces from the Rheinland from producer Elisabeth Graaff -Rheinlandgemüse Hydo & Co. Pielken: "We are particularly pleased with the consistent quantities and qualities we receive. We also do not rule out that new cultivation methods may make it possible to grow further crops in the future. In addition, we are striving to expand our organic range further, focusing especially on selected open-field products, such as zucchini, celery, and Hokkaido. Even in times of inflation, we see an increasing demand for organic vegetables rather than a decrease. Therefore, we continue to see growth potential, although it is becoming increasingly difficult to find organic land."

Images: vitfrisch Gemüse-Vertrieb eG

For more information:
Christian Pielken
Managing Director Soest
vitfrisch Gemüse-Vertrieb eG
T: +49 2921 893-110
M: [email protected]

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