“We will dedicate extra time to lettuces with root balls, i.e. hydroponics”

At the commence of this year’s fresh vegetable period, Pfalzmarkt eG invited site visitors to the fields of Pfalzmarkt producer Harry Eicher. In addition to Eicher, Pfalzmarkt board member Hans-Jörg Friedrich and supervisory board chairman Christian Deyerling commented on the present-day year, new developments and the forecast for the time.

In 2021, Pfalzmarkt experienced income of 167 million euros with a output quantity of 212,000 tons sourced from 13,000 hectares of land. Best products incorporate spring onions with about 85 million bunches, radishes with about 74 million bunches and leaf lettuces with about 45 million heads.

Pfalzmarkt grower Harry Eicher, Govt Board member Hans-Jörg Friedrich and Supervisory Board Chairman Christian Deyerling.

New 30,000 m2 internet marketing corridor
Board member Friedrich is happy that the Pfalzmarkt will be able to resume nearly whole functions in the coming weeks. At the get started of the new year, the eG can obtain a new marketing and advertising hall of 30,000m2. “We have the good thing is started out early with the building operate. Simply because in the meantime there are many problems to acquire setting up materials. We were being also afraid that there would be numerous failures owing to Corona. We also stayed in the planned funds in phrases of expenditures. Nonetheless, on the whole, we experienced no delays,” Friedrich states.

“2021 was a good yr. We have been in a position to enhance our gross sales somewhat past yr, which is also owing to the point that we are increasingly sourcing products from overseas for our customers in the winter so that we continue to be on the ball and will not have to get worried in the spring. In this regard, the winter season company has also turn out to be significant,” states Friedrich.

“We were being in a position to start out the year with excellent volumes of spring onions because, the good news is, we experienced no frost. Asparagus has started out as early as it has in the latest decades. We have been able to offer more substantial portions of lettuce considering the fact that mid-April, and I have presently noticed the initially kohlrabi. From mid-May perhaps, we will be ready to provide nearly the full product array, other than for zucchini,” Friedrich predicts.


Competitors from Italy and Spain
According to him, the food items retail marketplace is indeed keen to go a lot more locally and to supply products in the “regional” classification, but this does not only refer to the Palatinate, but to German merchandise in common. “In this, on the other hand, we also have to contend with Italian and Spanish items due to the fact they promote their stock at a reduce rate. So we are coming to the market place with a greater price level, and vendors will have to be eager to fork out accordingly.” German produce, however, remains in large desire, he explained, which would accommodate the Palatinate sector. “For the reason that what is harvested right now, will be on the shelves tomorrow,” Friedrich said.

New solutions
With edamame, puntarelle and broccolini, Pfalzmarkt is also not frightened to marketplace new merchandise. Friedrich: “Of training course, we are 1st trying to establish ourselves appropriately with the new goods that we have by now introduced to the industry, these types of as broccolini with our Bimi model. This is currently trending in other countries. We will also dedicate extra awareness to salads with root balls, i.e. hydroponics. In normal, we are often doing the job on new types that have to have to be tailored to the weather conditions.”

The three are undoubtedly worried about the enhance in the least wage to 12.00 euros, he stated. “It might well be that labor-intensive items can no for a longer time be available,” Deyerling claimed. “The greens entail considerably manual labor. Even so, we typically can not adjust our rates indefinitely. As a final result, we will inevitably reduce sure crops to a increased or lesser extent.”


Vibrant salad mix
Eicher’s increasing operation was established in 1970 by his father and was beforehand primarily devoted to rising lettuce. Eicher then expanded the assortment to incorporate lollo rosso and bionda, as effectively as purple head and romaine lettuces and Chinese cabbage. “We started out planting about the conclude of February and harvesting in early April, despite the fact that we experienced to hold off the latter by three days due to snowfall. Then, in the summer time months, we really should be ready to harvest three to 4 months immediately after planting,” Eicher suggests.

For create, particular bodyweight targets are set by the main grocery chains. “For colored lettuces, we reach about 200g for pink lettuces and 250g for green, though in the summer months months crimson varieties get to among 250-300g and eco-friendly 350g. Lettuces should really have a girth of 400-450g,” suggests Eicher. The farmer was surprised at the refusal of some seasonal personnel to appear and operate.

Germany’s vegetable yard
Deyerling, who is a grower himself and keeps keep track of of all 120 farms that cooperate with Pfalzmarkt, shares Eicher’s assessment. “The seasonal employees have, of course, the independence to do the job where they want. Even so, I imagine they are acting a bit quick-sighted in some instances,” Deyerling mentioned. It is also getting to be increasingly tricky to uncover seasonal personnel, owing in part to the changeable temperature circumstance. “It rains more typically and it also gets fairly hot at times. Our seasonal employees normally go the place they can make the most and the place they can operate under the ideal situation.”

The challenges posed by flooding, warmth waves and the pandemic could be managed in the Palatinate region, but new issues were being emerging as a outcome of the war in Ukraine, he claimed. “The procurement charges of packaging supplies, wooden crates, etcetera. has gone up immensely. If a crate expenses two times what it expense prior to, that should actually be reflected in the price tag. An additional huge dilemma is that the higher client costs do not essentially occur back to the producers. That, in change, can trigger even further issues in the potential,” Deyerling states.

At the exact time, traits these kinds of as local or regional creation, freshness and sustainability play into the cards of producers from the ‘Germany’s vegetable garden’. “Despite every little thing, people are likely to focus on staple foodstuff in a disaster. Luxurious items this sort of as asparagus are no lengthier in great need.” Since this would depart a good deal of merchandise lying all-around, there could be an oversupply, which would outcome in price ranges currently being drastically decreased than if not.


For more information:
Pfalzmarkt für Obst und Gemüse eG
Neustadter Str. 100
67112 Mutterstadt

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