The cold in the growing areas of Italy is currently affecting availability, as well as prices. The consequences have also been felt by organic producers for several weeks, confirms Emanuela Martella, spokeswoman for Ögema GmbH. The Bavarian trading company sources its organic goods directly from Italian producers, which are mainly marketed in Germany. "After a good sales in December, from the beginning of January, large quantities are lacking with regard to outdoor vegetables," she says.
The availability of lettuces is very low at the moment, especially with the red and green types of oak and the lettuce. "Although we cooperate with various organic producers in Veneto and Campania, almost all of them only have small yields. This is a big problem for us now, as these products are in great demand."
Broccoli & cauliflower
In addition to the lettuces the situation in the cabbage area looks rather bad as well, because broccoli and especially cauliflower are difficult to get at the moment. "The Italian cauliflower is currently in its peak season, but at the moment there are delivery bottlenecks. This week is particularly difficult because we can only deliver very small quantities." Apart from availability, there is also a lack of the desired calibers. The most current sizes for organic cauliflowers in the German trade -the 8 or 10 size - are hardly available. "The quantities that are currently available are much smaller in recent weeks because of the cold."
For broccoli, the situation is also problematic, but not to the extent as is the case with cauliflower. Again, there are sometimes supply shortages or supply gaps, which have a corresponding effect on prices. "Prices for broccoli are currently around 10 percent higher than in the previous year. Still, that's not as high as it is with lettuce and cauliflower, where we tend to talk about 20 percent."
Eco-Abokisten as a Growth Market
Despite the difficult conditions in the current trade, Ögema GmbH is in the process of gradually expanding its range of products and services, says Martella. In the winter offer of the company you will find colorful carrots and chicory varieties, dandelion and monk's beard, among others. "With the delivery services of the Eco-Abokists, we have found a good sales market in which seasonal vegetable specialties are in constant demand. We are also working on a new own brand, which we want to introduce later this year. For some time now, we have been increasingly supplying our goods in IFCO boxes, making an additional contribution to environmentally sound marketing."