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Jochen Blust of Früchte Blust KG on the negative trend in the catering industry

"Stable sales prices for French Löwenzahn, despite increased purchasing costs"

French Löwenzahn has already been increasingly traded in the Kaiserstuhl region for several weeks. "The leafy vegetable continues to be very well received, especially by our gastronomy and farm store customers. The Löwenzahn is offered parallel to lamb's lettuce, which is also taken a lot in winter, and can usually be marketed in pleasing quantities until the start of the regional asparagus season," says Jochen Blust, owner of the company of the same name and gastronomy wholesaler based at the Freiburg wholesale market.

The wholesaler has been sourcing the Löwenzahn from its permanent partner in northern France for many years. "There have been several attempts in the past to produce the labor-intensive crop here at Kaisterstuhl, but without success," Blust said. "Although the Löwenzahn has increased somewhat due to cost increases in purchasing, our sales prices are almost identical to previous years."

An employee of the Blust company shows the fresh Löwenzahn from eastern France.

Blust also obtains chicory from its partner in northern France, and both products are driven to the Kaiserstuhl twice a week as mixed pallets. "In contrast to Löwenzahn , we generally offer chicory for 12 months of the year, although there is still increased use of the vegetable in winter. Price-wise, chicory is only slightly more expensive than last year, but compared to the exponential price increases of many other vegetable products, such as cauliflower, it's a miniscule premium."

Downward trend shapes wholesale market clientele
In addition to its headquarters in Königschaffhausen, Blust KG has been operating a wholesale market facility at Freiburg's Frischezentrum for many years. From there, the fresh produce is delivered primarily to restaurateurs, weekly markets and farm stores. "Our clientele is getting noticeably older and in many places there is a lack of new blood. This is aggravated by the concise shortage of personnel as well as the legal requirements with which the restaurant businesses are confronted."

In recent years, many restaurateurs, butchers and bakeries have already gone out of business. "And I fear that the current cost increases will accelerate this negative trend," says Blust, who has been forced to expand his delivery area. "But it is also becoming increasingly difficult for producers to survive in the market, due in part to legal requirements regarding sprays, etc. Among other things, this has led to a downward trend in regional fruit growing in the Kaiserstuhl region."

Images: Blust KG

More information:
Jochen Blust
Früchte Blust KG
Großmarkt Freiburg
Tel.: +49 7642 1024 

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