Exchange of information from the Zentralverbandes Gartenbau:

Under glass cultivation is urgently looking for skilled workers

Procurement of labor becomes more and more of a challenge for the companies specialized in greenhouse cultivation. An information exchange in the Papenburg area, between companies and representatives of the Zentralverband Gartenbau (ZVG), took place on April 8 and 9, 2019 with the intention of discussing the current situation.

"We are desperately looking for not just harvest workers, but also for technicians and company successors," said the chairman of the Young Plants Section (FGJ) in the ZVG, Frank Silze. Particularly difficult for the region is the competition there.

Exchange of information on the current situation between companies and representatives of ZVG: (left to right) Stefan Schulz, Vice President of the WVG, Dirk Matuszewski, Managing Director of the Horticulture Center, Frank Silze, Chairman of the Young Plants Group, Elisa Markula, the new Managing Director of the Young Plants Group, Laura Lafuente, the budding Managing Director of the Federal Expert Group Vegetable Gardening, Bertram Fleischer, Secretary General of the Central Association of Horticulture (ZVG), Thomas Albers, Chairman of the Section for Vegetable Production Northern Germany. (Photo: Silze)

Competitive disadvantages
Furthermore, the Papenburg entrepreneurs demanded that the general political conditions be adjusted so that horticulture remains competitive. "Germany has the comparatively highest electricity prices in the EU, which leads to higher costs, especially for under glass cultivation," said Thomas Albers, head of the Vegetable Production North Germany section. The same electricity, generated from renewable energies, is being sold to neighboring countries at low prices, which leads to noticeable competitive disadvantages. Albers advocated an adjustment of the EEG levies, taxes and promotion of CHPs for vegetable production.

The companies are also worried about the lack of availability of pesticides and the planned renewed amendment of the Fertilizer Ordinance.

In the Papenburg area, crops like herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and ornamental plants are cultivated. 85 million potted herbs are produced annually by the Papenburg horticultural center. With currently 35 million cucumbers sold, the horticultural center is the market-leading supplier in Germany in this area.

Source: Zentralverband Gartenbau e.V. (ZVG) 

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