Johannes Adams from the herb garden of the same name in Düsseldorf:

Constant level of demand despite price increase of 10 to 20 percent for thyme

The thyme harvest at Kräutergarten Johannes Adams in Düsseldorf is slowly coming to an end. The company was able to offer the popular spice plant for ten months last year, aiming for year-round availability, as managing director Johannes Adams tells us. "Our major customers take between 500 kg to 1 ton of thyme per week."

Johannes Adams. Photo: Kräutergarten Johannes Adams

Two to three acres of thyme
Herbs from his own cultivation he sells to the Netherlands and parts of southern as well as northern Germany, among others. "However, our customers sometimes market the produce throughout Europe. At the moment, we are buying thyme from Germany. Then, starting in March, we'll start up again with our own produce." Adams grows thyme on 2 to 3 hectares in the open, but greenhouse cultivation of this crop is too expensive, he says. But the company also experiences good sales of products such as basil, mint, coriander, and rosemary.

"Due to the high cost of packaging, fertilizer, the increased minimum wage, etc., we had to adjust our prices upward by 20 percent," he said. For the packaged product, why there was a 10 to 12 percent price increase due to the cost of the trays, which also increased, as well as labor costs. However, since in the end, all companies have to deal with this, these additional costs in themselves did not represent a major problem," says Adams.

Demand at constant levels
The price adjustments did not lead to a drop in purchases; instead, demand remained at a constant level. Mainly smaller packages in 15-gram trays are marketed. "We sell the bundled products in 50-, 75- or 100-gram trays, depending on demand. Our operation has a healthy size where we can respond to specific customer requests even more precisely and flexibly." In general, he said, demand remains high for standard herbs as opposed to specialty herbs such as lemongrass or lemon thyme.

What may be more challenging this year, according to Adams, is the issue of powdery mildew resistance in field-grown basil.

For more information:
Johannes Adams
Kräutergarten Johannes Adams
Bonifatiusstraße 67
40547 Düsseldorf
Tel.: 0211 59 23 08
Fax: 0211 59 23 85     

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