Demand in the herb sector has been increasing, however Sales Manager, Yehonatan Kedem from Kedem Galprie Ltd does not feel that demand has surpassed production yet.

Herb prices are very stable compared to other fruit and vegetables. There are winter and summer prices, however, unusually hot weather in Italy has made for an unusual situation. Three years ago their production would have been focused on imports this time of year, but the weather has meant that Italy is still producing for the European market.

This situation has had an affect on Israeli herb exports. "However, the winter season is nearing and temperatures are dropping in Germany and Italy which are strong and competitive markets. Once the weather changes, imports from Israel and Africa will start to increase. Germany is a big market for chives and basil, so once Italian production slows, they can enter the market. On the other side, unique export products such as sea vegetables (Salicornia), and sea weeds amongst others, are in very high demand," shares Yehonatan Kedem. "One of the Kedem Galprie main products are the sea vegetables and we see a large increase of sales and interest".

African competition
A lot of growers located in Kenya and Ethiopia are actually Israeli, which means that they are using the same high technology which makes them competitive to Israel. They have been able to establish themselves with certain items, but they are still experiencing problems with basil, a very sensitive herb, which Israel is better equipped to deal with. "African prices are very attractive to customers which means that it tends to be preferred. High quality is important to Israeli production and is what gives it the competitive edge against the lower African prices".

Developing market
"More people are coming in contact with items that they hadn't before. Companies in Holland have done a great job of introducing new items and new herb varieties into the market. Microgreens, sea vegetables, and edible flowers are really growing in popularity. In general, people are looking for new products that they can offer to supermarkets and customers.

Salicornia, which is very common in the UK, is starting to be offered in Scandinavia and Germany. Business is becoming more inter-market and orders are increasing."

For more information:
Yehonatan Kedem
Tel: +972 8940 1680 ext. 3
Fax: +972 8940 1521