The construction of the new greenhouse for radish grower Ad Coolbergen is in full swing in the Dutch village Oude Tonge. Piling has already been driven into the ground and in the middle of august the first frame has been set up as well.
“We see the demand rising in winter. This has been down for a couple of years”, the grower says. The reason for this development is the buyers' desire to spread risk. “Italy is the market leader in winter, but the production over there can vary," Coolbergen explains. "We grow there as well and we don't want to compete with ourselves, but we do want to answer the markets' demand. Customers mostly go for Italian product and add to it with Dutch produce."
The tendency can be seen throughout all of the Netherlands, where the acreage of radish has slowly been growing again in recent years. “About ten years ago a lot of growers stopped – smaller all year round growers and opportunistic growers, who only grew in the spring for instance. There are less companies active in the radish cultivation, but the companies that are here have become bigger. In recent years you can see the area grow step by step.”
The situation on the radish market is different in the summer. "The market can be tighter then. There is a lot of growing in Germany and Poland around that time. You can get it just right, but there can also be too much product on the market." This is why Coolbergen opts not to be in full production then. "We want to give the cultivation more space. Sometimes you're going round in circles for three weeks and can continually harvest and sow - but we choose not to. We want to let the soil rest in between cultivations. This way we can give it more water, or sow green manure. We do this in Italy too and see the advantages of it."
For more information: