For the second year in a row Germany has to deal with a poor harvest of red and white cabbage. Since last year the cabbage storages are empty and consumers have to deal with the shortages.

The Federal Association of Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industries in Bonn, reports that currently some German fields are growing 10% to 20% less cabbage as usual, and red cabbage has suffered losses from 15% to 25%.
The sector has been struggling with a poor harvest for the second year in a row. Due to the disastrous harvest in 2015, the stores of red cabbage and sauerkraut are practically empty; it has become difficult to meet all supply obligations. So some supermarket shelves in retail groceries might be left empty, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The reason for the bleak harvest predictions is the weather. Heavy rain in May flushed away soil nutrients. That caused plants to stay smaller; especially the early varieties didn’t produce a high yield. And in the period July to September the unusual drought limited the growth, in some Southern German regions only 60% of the yield estimated for the supply obligations could be harvested. 

Manufacturers have to deal with all kinds of complications. The harvested cabbages are smaller and lighter than usual and as a result, not only less material is available, but the processing is also cost-intensive and takes more time.

The manufactures cannot turn to other European countries for help. The extraordinary weather has had its effect on the whole of Europe. The intense competition for the remaining cabbage shows the seriousness of the situation.

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