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Vegetable grower Mark Meyer zu Bentrup from Bielefeld:

'Current cucumber prices significantly firmer and more stable than last year'

In the greenhouse of the Bielefeld family business Meyer zu Bentrup, the cucumber and tomato harvest is now in full swing. Since week 17, markets have been supplied with regional mini and snake cucumbers, and since week 22, tomatoes from Bielefeld have been gradually hitting the market. "Both crops are looking quite good. From a marketing perspective, cucumber prices this year are much firmer and more stable than in the first half of last season. Promotions in the retail food sector are meanwhile manageable," says Managing Director Mark Meyer zu Bentrup.

Due to the high cucumber prices in recent years, many Belgian and Dutch horticultural businesses switched from tomatoes to cucumbers last year. Meyer zu Bentrup: "This led to excess quantities and corresponding price reductions, so that cucumbers were sometimes offered at retail prices around 0.40 euros each. In the last phase of the season, prices were already much more stable, as many did not plant late sets anymore. Personally, I have never experienced such pressure on the markets as last year."

Mark Meyer zu Bentrup cultivates tomatoes and cucumbers on approximately 1.6 hectares (of which one hectare is cucumbers) of greenhouse space for the regional market. In addition, he dedicates himself to the cultivation of berries.

The modern horticultural business is known, among other things, for its wide range of tomatoes and primarily supplies weekly market traders, farm shops, owner-managed retail food branches, and selected wholesalers in NRW. "For tomatoes, there are usually three planting dates, namely at the beginning of March, in April, and in May. Taste is clearly our top priority, followed by yield. Furthermore, parameters such as shape, color, and also firmness play an important role. After all, it's of no use to me if we produce a tasty tomato that then turns out to be too soft," says Meyer zu Bentrup, who offers around 40 tomato varieties in total.

Right: Fresh snake cucumbers from Bielefeld

From May to November, the gardener harvests both classic and old, unusual tomatoes. "In general, we find that colorful tomatoes are trending. An example is the Crimea tomato, which is distinguished by its characteristic shape and black color. Furthermore, we harvest all tomatoes loose, as it is otherwise difficult to find a middle ground that is suitable for the entire spectrum."

Images: Meyer zu Bentrup Gartenbau KG

For more information:
Mark Meyer zu Bentrup
Meyer zu Bentrup Gartenbau KG
Vogelweide 2
33649 Bielefeld
Tel: 0521 / 450 100
Fax: 0521 / 459 017
E-Mail: [email protected]

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