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Robbert van Essen, Valstar

"Netherlands: "Hot pepper market this year"

The pepper market has been exceptionally good this year. While the price historically tends to free-fall later in the season, the price shot up in the past weeks. "We've been able to make prices between 10 and 12 euros, which is, of course, very nice for our growers as well," says Robbert van Essen, responsible for pepper sales at Valstar Holland, market leader with Dutch peppers.

"Spanish supplies will get going in the coming weeks, and together with a some supply from Israel, prices will go down a bit, but overall the season went very well," says Robbert. "Production and quality was top this year, across the whole pepper range. The growers all saw good yields, and received good prices for it as well, with the season ending on a high note."

Valstar has virtually year-round production from Dutch soil, and they will start again with illuminated cultivation of red, yellow and green peppers, and special varieties like Jalapeño and Fresno in mid-December. Sales of special varieties have shown an upward trend for a while now, and that shows no sign of stopping.

"The hotter, the better for the Asian market. For them, it's great when something new is introduced in the market. The Jalapeño, Habanero and also the Naga Jolokia pepper, all had a great year," Robbert says.

"By using illuminated cultivation, we are able to provide our clients with Dutch peppers again this winter. Customers are prepared to pay a bit more for that. The illuminated product looks very good, and imported peppers are struggling to compete," says Robbert. He mainly expects a small expansion in the hot segment for the coming year. "However, I sincerely hope that expansion will remain within limits. Too much could be disastrous for the market."

For more information:
Robbert van Essen
Valstar Holland 
ABC Westland 110 
2685 DB Poeldijk 
T: +31 174 530817 
F: +31 174 530888
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