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René Schmidtlein, Früchte Schmidtlein Ltd, on the Italian lettuce and citrus season:

"Italian lollo rosso has become easier to work with than German greenhouse lettuce"

The continuing rise in the number of Covid infections is once again having a major impact on the work of suppliers and, above all, restaurateurs. René Schmidtlein from Früchte Schmidtlein Ltd stated that business has also become noticeably quieter again in his company. He also talked to us about Lollo Rosso and citrus fruits from Italy as well as current trends in Knoblauchsland.

Great demand for Italian vegetables
"Italian vegetables are in high demand again right now, as the vegetable season here in Knoblauchsland is winding down. Products such as cauliflower, kohlrabi, and various lettuces such as lollo rosso and oak leaf are starting to ramp up. Belgian and Italian lettuces are also back in demand," Schmidtlein said.

"The quality of Italian lollo rosso was not so good yet because we had very warm weather the week before last. Since the middle of last week, the quality is excellent again. One can now also work much easier with this lettuce than with German greenhouse lettuce."

He said demand has already started to pick up, but not as much as last year, given the difficult situation for the restaurant industry. The season started about three weeks ago and will end as soon as the first regional produce is available again, because retailers and weekly markets will then also focus on local products again.

Citrus Monna Lisa from Hispalco and Vega Cecilia
"We get citrus fruits from Spain from the brands Monna Lisa from Hispalco, but also from Citronet Vega Cecilia, who deliver our top-quality clementines and oranges. The season started in late October/early November. Although some pallets are already being sold, the big draw behind them is still missing," Schmidtlein says.

"The rising fuel prices must of course be observed, but one must also be vigilant and keep an eye on the overall situation. We are in daily contact with our suppliers about this. As it stands, we are not yet expecting price increases. There will be shortages in clementines because there will be less product, but the price will remain constant."

Little hope for Christmas business
"I don't expect too much from the overall Christmas business this year, especially regarding the food service industry. Due to the 2G rule, many customers will certainly be deterred. However, I can imagine demand in private households to increase again."

No Schmidtlein gastronomy customers have yet had to give up their business. In turn, it is problematic for many to find staff, which is why they can now only offer the food on-site and no longer for pickup/delivery. Although the demand for convenience goods is increasing, there is still a lot of interest in fresh goods. Retailers and weekly markets are among Schmidtlein's main customers.

For more information:
René Schmidtlein
Früchte Schmidtlein GmbH
Neunkirchenerstr. 20
91077 Hetzles

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