Chicory is doing really well this year, "Export is doing especially well this year," says Rudi Coosemans. "And we are not only talking about chicory, in the U.S. there was particular demand for greenhouse grown vegetables. In any case, the mood has improved in the sector. We experienced this at the PMA in Atlanta where the atmosphere was very pleasant. We are very happy with the season."
Greenhouse grown vegetables
Rudi says that the favorable market conditions were due to a combination of circumstances, "The dollar was good and the vegetable harvest in America had some problems, which gave us an opportunity to export a lot. In recent years export to America was very difficult and this year it started going well again. The sales of some products increased a great deal." Vegetable exports to this part of the world are mainly concentrated in the summer months. It is not yet known whether the export will continue to increase in the coming years, "It is difficult to predict. A great deal depends on the circumstances, which we have no control over."
Paul (left) and Rudi Coosemans during the PMA last weekend.
Rudi says that chicory is currently in a transition phase, "The old carrot season is ending and there will be more chicory starting next week. This will result in higher prices. In recent weeks chicory was becoming more expensive, but it is already quite pricey. Chicory that is meant for export, in particular, gets good prices. This year there is a bigger price difference between 'normal' chicory and exported chicory. This mainly has to do with the fact that there is less volume available for export. Recently, chicory has been going for roughly one and a half euros. Chicory for export is at 2 to 2.50 euros. The price difference is actually too large." Rudi says that sorting and packaging chicory for export is a special kind of job, "The exported product has to meet many special requirements, and in some markets you are tied to a certain quantity/net weight ratio. For growers, the price is often a considerable incentive to do more of this kind of work."