Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Vegetable producer and wholesaler Willi Andree on the start of the harvest season:

"Despite the wet conditions, I am positively surprised by the overall state of the crops"

This year's salad and vegetable harvest is gradually gaining momentum in the Lower Rhine region as well. "We source cauliflower from local farmers, and from our own cultivation, we can already offer colorful lettuces (Lollo Bionda and Rosso, green and red oak leaf), romaine, arugula, flat and curly parsley as well as savoy cabbage, early white cabbage, and pointed cabbage. Furthermore, we continue to harvest rhubarb, although we're looking back at a challenging season due to the wet weather. Certain batches were finished quite early, closely followed by late frost and rain. Overall, yields are rather weak this year, and we're currently hoping that we can hold out for another two to three weeks," says Willi Andree, a vegetable producer and trader based in Düsseldorf.

Local open-field lettuces are usually harvested until the end of October. Prices are generally slightly below last year's level.

Due to the abundant rainfall, planting dates have been delayed in some cases. "We always had short periods during which we could plant the crops, which is why many plants were also put into the ground too late. Despite the difficult growing conditions, I am positively surprised at how the crops are overall standing. I would have actually expected significant harvest losses. However, a batch of oak leaf lettuce was completely destroyed by rain immediately after planting. On surrounding vegetable farms, however, there are bigger problems with the harvest and the quality of the crops," Andree further explains.

Andree's company is among the larger vegetable growing and trading companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, and it markets its yields independently. The family business supplies both the retail food trade as well as cutting plants and regional wholesalers. "The prices for lettuces are currently fine, and cabbage prices are quite stable as well. The latter is also due to the fact that there is not so much produce available at the moment, and up to 20-30 percent is expected not to be harvestable. This somewhat contributes to the relaxation of the market. In the cabbage sector, especially with pointed cabbage and savoy, the availability of imported goods from Portugal and Italy was relatively scarce recently. With lettuces, on the other hand, there was a seamless transition from imported goods from France and Italy to German greenhouse lettuces, followed by local open-field products. Initially, there was a bit of marketing pressure, but this has normalized somewhat since then."

Vegetables that are easy to prepare are becoming increasingly popular, Andree continues. "Especially with us, broccoli and celery have gained significantly in recent years. Leaf lettuces, above all colorful lettuces, are still the biggest revenue generator. In the retail food trade, hydroponic lettuces from regional cultivation are increasingly entering the market, while cutting plants continue to rely predominantly on open-field lettuces." In general, the number of regional open-field farms in the region is rather declining. "This means that those who continue, experience slight increases. At the same time, one does not want to grow too quickly, as everyone is facing staffing problems. We are currently recording an annual growth of 5-10 percent, both in quantity and area. Staffing will remain the biggest challenge in vegetable cultivation in the coming years."

Willi Andree.

Images: Willi Andree GmbH & Co. KG

For more information:
Willi Andree
Willi Andree GmbH & Co. KG
Head Office
Tel.: +49 (0) 2159 - 6729460
Wholesale Market Düsseldorf
Tel.: +49 (0) 211 - 412136
[email protected]

Publication date: