The export of winter carrot has not yet got into its stride, says Jos de Boer, cultivator and trader of winter carrot from Westwoud, in the Netherlands. “People still eat from their vegetable patches.” He expects to drive a few additional lorries to Dutch supermarkets from next week. “Just a few more tonnes of carrot, just like every year, for Sinterklaas’s horse.” The Dutch St Nicholas arrives in Holland mid November and kids put carrots out for the horse. The largest part of the harvest will enter the cold stores for several months. Demand will only improve in April, May or June, according to De Boer.
Jos de Boer has been in the trade for 46 years already. He is pleased with this year’s harvest, but prices are bad. “Russia is being blamed, but it is also the cycle. One year, prices will be good, and another year prices will be bad. That happens over the years.” De Boer exports 90 per cent of his harvest to the UK, Ireland, Eastern European countries and a smaller part to Scandinavia. It is remarkable that this year also sees demand from Germany. “From that, we can conclude that carrots grew badly. They have very dry areas. The Rhine is extremely low, a metre lower than usually. We always have sufficient amounts of water in the delta.” Yet De Boer feels as if the carrot harvest in total is lower in the Netherlands this year as well. His harvest is good. “It is fair: we harvest about 75 to 80 tonnes per hectare.”
W. de Boer is specialised is washing and trading vegetables. The export of winter carrot is the most important. The area is meant for 70 hectares of winter carrot, 30 hectares for beetroot and 20 hectares for crop rotation (wheat).