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Potatoes from Cyprus and Egypt supplement domestic supply

“Covering the demand for ‘triplets’ with imported goods”

Despite the huge harvest and corresponding surpluses in the local potato stores, there are currently more and more imported tubers on the market. The so-called spring potatoes are currently sourced mainly from the Mediterranean, with Cyprus and Egypt as the current main suppliers. Although the local market is partially over-supplied, above all, small potatoes make the business lucrative.

Fresh spring potatoes from Egyptian soil

Already some six weeks ago, the first lots from Egyptian cultivation arrived on the German market, about two weeks later than in the year before. However, there are hardly any other effects of local overproduction, says Peter Dankers of Dankers Daltex GmbH, which has been active in this specific market segment for more than 20 years. “Our current sales are perhaps about 10 percent lower than last year, as food retailers try to market their own German goods as much as possible. But we are able to bring the so-called triplets (small potatoes, red.) with great cosmetic quality onto the market. This niche product can not -or only insufficiently- be covered with domestic goods.”

Mr. Peter Dankers in an Egyptian potato field

Despite the gradual decline in German fresh consumption, the market for Egyptian produce is relatively stable and still profitable. “Because the trend is clearly towards small sales packaging and smaller sort sizes. More and more small tubers of 25-40 mm in diameter are consumed in small packages such as 1 kg trays. Here in Germany there is an annual increase of approx. 20 percent. In addition to this, the new potato market is also very divided: Egyptian new potatoes are found almost exclusively as packaged on the supermarket shelf. On the other hand, goods from Cyprus and other growing areas can be found mainly in day-to-day trade: at wholesale and weekly markets.”

Between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes are sold annually in the period between early February and the start of the season for the tubers. From other major growing areas in the Mediterranean -such as Israel and Spain- about 50,000 to 60,000 tons per season are exported to Germany. Dankers: “Basically, the timing is as follows: Egypt starts first, then Israel usually comes in April and sometime in May there will be a few more weeks of Spanish wares before starting with the local early harvest”

Limited offer
Karl Lentzen -owner of the Lentzen & Sohn GmbH- has already distributed his first imported goods as well. “The season is from March to June. Currently we only do Cypriot wares in 25 kilo sacks. We mainly source the elongated Annabelle variety: demand is very much in line with the currently limited supply of asparagus and as a result our sales are still low.”

“At this time, the wholesale company is marketing so-called winter potatoes: however, the fresh spring crops from Cyprus have already been announced and will soon arrive. We continue to distribute the products to regional resellers at weekly markets and farm shops who buy these potatoes.”

In the company warehouse of Lentzen Großhandlung

Regional & International
The Lentzen & Sohn GmbH company is a wholesale and storage company for potatoes in Viersen on the Lower Rhine and we are now managed by the third generation. The company established itself over the years mainly as a trading partner for regional weekly marketers and farm shops. The core business of the company is the potatoes of the regional premium brand Leckere Lievchen which are stored, sorted out and packed on site.

Dankers Daltex GmbH is a service company founded in 1997, which deals exclusively with the import and marketing of agricultural products. Today's company name emphasizes the close ties with Egyptian production company Daltex. The core business is the production and marketing of Egyptian quick-to-cook potatoes, mainly to retail chains in Germany and neighboring countries. Over the years, the GmbH has continuously expanded its production and trading activities to include other areas of the fruit and vegetable sector (including onions, citrus and pomegranates).

For more information:
Dankers Daltex GmbH
Inh. Peter Dankers
Leinenweberstraße 9
D-46348 Raesfeld
Tel. +49 2865 60 10 77
Fax +49 2865 60 10 44

Lentzen & Sohn GmbH 
Geschäftsführung: Karl Lentzen & Hermann Josef Lentzen
Greefsallee 224 41748 Viersen
Phone: 02162 12990
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