“Despite the smaller harvest, we are satisfied with the sales”

“In principle, the demand for white and red cabbage is at a normal level for this season,” says Peter Hagge. “Currently, every company wants to deliver its goods instead of storing them to save costs. This means that there is sufficient supply available in the market. Normally we start storing the cabbage in early to mid-September, but due to . Due to the persistent drought in the previous months, we were only able to start this at the beginning of October. I expect that we will harvest about 25-30 percent less cabbage throughout Europe. As a result, stocks will throughout Europe not be able to reach the level of previous years.” , Peter said.

Peter Hagge

White cabbage price at a low level for a short time
The price of white cabbage has fallen in recent weeks. Currently the price of industrial white cabbage is around 20 euros, in September it was still 40 euros. Domestic sales have fallen after the relatively weak autumn campaigns. In addition, the companies are willing to sell their goods directly from the field to save on storage and handling costs,’ summarizes Peter.

He suspects that growers’ willingness to deliver will decline rapidly from December. “Due to the delay of the start of the harvest by almost four weeks, the companies will not be ready until four weeks later. There is labor available, but in fact there is still a great shortage of personnel. Once the goods are put into storage, the Eastern European workers would like to return to their own country and not come back for the time being,” reads Peter’s current estimate.

Cultivation costs increased by 40-50 percent
“Our cultivation costs have increased by 40 to 50 percent this year, although the actual extent will only become apparent in the coming year. In addition to the increased material and energy costs, personnel costs have also increased. By this I mean not only the increased minimum wage, but also including expenses for accommodation and food for the employees.

Gemüsehandel Hagge sells its goods throughout Europe, with around 70 percent being in Germany. “We are satisfied with sales this season despite the 30% smaller harvest. The reason for the smaller harvest is the lack of rain in large parts of Germany and Europe.

Need higher revenue next year
The issue of additional costs can no longer be ignored or even ignored. The percentage cost increases for this season will be higher than the rate of inflation. Peter: “The situation with cabbage is similar to that with grain: a higher turnover is already needed to compensate for the increased costs and in the coming year. We sincerely hope that customers and end users will take this into account. It is a difficult year.”

Photo: Gemüsehandel Hagge GmbH

coleslaw processing plant
For almost 1.5 years, Peter has been processing white cabbage into an initial stage of coleslaw in his own processing company. The preliminary product is sold to companies that process it into a final product and package it for the final consumer. “As we now have the view not only from the perspective of the grower and the retailer, but also from a manufacturing company, I can only maintain that we need price increases in all our sectors. For example, we have large quantities of sugar for our processed cabbage products, and the price has risen from €0.50 per kg to currently almost €1.00 per kg, not to mention the scarce citric acid, which is largely no longer available on the market.”

Motivated team despite crisis
From December/January at the latest, Peter hopes for an increase in demand for German vegetables, as he sees the price advantage compared to foreign goods or greenhouse crops. “We are a young and motivated team of good people who work diligently. Everyone is sure that the demand for German vegetables will increase and we hope that consumers will accept the prices and continue to buy German goods. However, I think also that goods such as cabbage, potatoes, onions and carrots are among the winners of the crisis. Because where can you still get food for 0.80 euros per kg these days?”

The team from Gemüsehandel Hagge. (Photo: Gemüsehandel Hagge GmbH)

For more information:
Peter Hagge
Vegetable trade Hagge GmbH
Blankenmoorer Strae 23
D-25792 Neuenkirchen, Germany
Telephone: +49 4837 91 60

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