As the holiday season approaches, the fresh herb industry braces for the busiest week of the year, navigating challenges that threaten the stability of the supply chain. Omer Kamp, of Europe Retail Packing BV, acknowledges the inevitability of shortages and unexpected delays during the Christmas week, attributing them to "a combination of climatic conditions, geopolitical uncertainties, and heightened demand."
Joella Steenbergen of ERP with edible flowers.
Raymond Van Der Burgh, a prominent figure at ERP, sheds light on unprecedented occurrences, emphasizing the impact of warm days in Spain leading to increased Aphids and Lice in open field crops like Coriander. “Additionally, frigid temperatures in Ethiopia and adverse weather conditions in Kenya contribute to production slowdowns and quality control issues. The geopolitical situation in Israel further compounds the challenges, resulting in a significant shortage of labour.”
Niels Van Der Kruk, representing ERP, points out that certain herb varieties, including open field crops like Coriander and Curly Parsley, as well as greenhouse-dependent ones like Basil, Chives, Oregano, and Marjoram, “will face intense pressure and experience dramatically heightened demand levels throughout the holiday season and into the New Year.”
Despite these challenges, Joella Steenbergen of ERP sees opportunities for innovation. She highlights the rising popularity of Edible Flowers, such as Pansies, Violas, and Courgette Flowers. “Consumers are increasingly recognizing the transformative impact these flowers can have on culinary experiences.”
Max De Vetten shares warm holiday wishes on behalf of Europe Retail Packing BV, “We envision a season filled with the freshness of Basil, the warmth of Thyme, and the crispness of Mint. Our company is committed to providing a diverse selection of the finest herbs, ensuring vibrant and flavourful holiday dishes.”
In an emotional metaphorical statement, Omer Kamp from ERP links the commitment to agriculture as a liberator breaking the chains of scarcity, cultivating abundance and ushering in prosperity. “The sentiment extends beyond agriculture, with heartfelt wishes for a more stable geopolitical reality, aligning the spirit of the season with a broader message of hope and liberation.”