With 70 hectares of open ground and ten hectares of greenhouse space, the Böck nursery can draw on a wide range of products. We spoke to farmer and managing director Florian Böck, who now represents the fifth generation to run the company, about the current tomato season as well as his own business.
The cold, low-light spring and persistent rainfall in April led to problems with yields in the Munich area, for example in tomato crops. "However, we had a very good young plant season that started quite late and had a good end to the season," Böck said. "We would have to adjust our prices by 15 to 17 percent, which is due in no small part to the increased minimum wage and the associated and other costs. However, we are also bound by market prices and therefore cannot simply pass on our prices."
Florian Böck at an event of online delivery service Knuspr, with which the Böck nursery has already been cooperating for a few years.
Wide range of products
In the greenhouse, the business grows cucumbers on one hectare and tomatoes on two hectares. Other greenhouse areas are used for summer and winter production, where lamb's lettuce, young plants, early arugula as well as radish are produced. Of the various tomato varieties produced by the family business, the colorful mini-mix varieties are especially popular, he said. "It is important for us to offer tomatoes with a good taste in particular. However, each variety has its fans and buyers."
Good sales at the wholesale market
Böck's father, Wilhelm Böck, is responsible for sales and the stand at the Munich Gardener's Hall. "We were afraid that the Whitsun week would make for slower demand at the wholesale market. However, we were pleasantly surprised by quite good sales week. Nonetheless, ten retail customers jumped ship on us at the wholesale market during the winter. It is getting tighter. But things are going well at the moment," says Böck.
Online store since 2018
"We have always been a self-marketing operation without cooperative affiliation. We have expanded self-marketing by operating our own online store since 2018. This keeps a large part of the value chain in our hands. The pandemic led to a big boost, which did die down a bit last year. But we are on a very good track, so that we can expand the site on a weekly basis."
According to Böck, the price pressure from imported goods is being felt strongly, making domestic production difficult. "It would already help us if the government took away the CO2 tax, enforced tax relief and reduced red tape. It would also be desirable if we were given financial support for the frequent inspections. After all, all the documentation requires a lot of time and work and, because of that, causes further costs."