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Current Position:Home » News » Marketing & Retail » Topic

Spanish curled endive on the market longer this year

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-04-13  Views: 3
Core Tip: Due to the sunny weather, leafy vegetables grew significantly in recent days.
Due to the sunny weather, leafy vegetables grew significantly in recent days. “Curled endive is in full production now. Quality is good, and we are satisfied with the nice heads. Prices of recent weeks disappointed somewhat compared to earlier years, but we can’t complain,” says producer Dirk Declercq. “The large ones are currently selling at 1.10, the smaller ones are between 40 and 50 cent.”

Spain on the market longer
The curled endive season started in early March for Declercq. “Normally, Spanish supply would be finished late March, but I’ve noticed they are on the market longer. The quality of the product is not the same as ours, but we notice they’re there, especially regarding pricing. Fortunately we have loyal customers, who immediately want the first Belgian curled endive. Or as a Dutch buyer said to me last week, ‘Spanish product may look nice, but it’s horrible to eat, too hard and tough.’”

Dirk supplies curled endive almost ten months of the year, through REO Veiling. Is year-round cultivation not an option in Belgium? “We’ve tried that, but it’s very costly. The cultivation in my greenhouses itself isn’t much of a problem, I have illumination and the option of heating. Question is whether the darker weather would result in heads as good as they are now, and if it would be profitable for those few months. It might happen in future, we have demand for it. It’s not high on my list yet, but perhaps when there’s more demand.”

More permanent price agreements

Part of the curled endive is sold at auction, and another part is sold through mediation. “It happens more and more often that customers want permanent price agreements for longer terms. Of course, spreading the risks is important, so I never make agreements for a large percentage of my harvest. Regarding price agreements on longer terms, we don’t distinguish between customers, they all pay the same.”

Less for the smaller ones
The grower can’t say much yet about the rest of the season. “I have been active in the cultivation of curled endive for 25 years and am very familiar with the market, especially in Belgium and the Netherlands. But it’s still difficult to make predictions, especially because the weather has so much influence. And the climate is always changing. We are positive about the coming season. The only tricky thing is that the smaller heads appear to have been selling for less in recent years. Besides, the cultivation is not as easy as that of, for example, lettuce, which produces roughly 90 per cent large heads. Curled endive has smaller heads more often. We are currently harvesting in five different weight classes, that’s too much. One option could be to bundle the smaller ones and supply them to a permanent partner.”

keywords: curled endive
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