Reichenau Gemüse starts the new season

"Cooperative marketing will prove its worth, even in times of crisis"

The second year of the pandemic brought challenges for Reichenau vegetable growers, also. Organic vegetables proved to be a regional power food and relevant for the Reichenau Gemüse sales. Price increases in the energy market, the packaging market and the raw materials market were already noticeable.

Reichenau vegetable growers still had to deal with the challenges of the pandemic in its second year. Hygiene measures on the farm and with regard to the entry of seasonal workers from abroad had already been standardized. However, with a significantly higher testing frequency on the farms due to the new virus variants, personnel and production costs increased again.

The weather, especially the spring weather, which was exceptionally cold, dark and wet in 2021, delayed crop development by up to two weeks. However, volume losses due to the cool and rainy weather were not serious for the Reichenau growers, as a large part of the produce is cultivated under glass in protected cultivation and thus the usual security of supply could be guaranteed.

Structural changes were also evident in the cooperative of Reichenau market gardeners: In 2021, several members gave up their businesses due to age and/or because no successor could be found within the family. Their acreages will be taken over by other farms willing to invest, and the number of active members dropped to the current 50 farms.

New products in Reichenau market garden range 
Despite difficult conditions, the Reichenau market gardeners were also able to focus on new products in 2021. While the eggplant has been part of the assortment for many years, the thinner and longer Japan eggplant has now been added. Also with the beautiful Graffiti eggplant, first experiences were gained in cultivation on the Reichenau. With lemongrass from the island, fresh ginger and Jerusalem artichoke were added to the exotic organic assortment. Consumers were particularly pleased with the new finger cucumbers, which satisfy their need for a healthy, ready-to-eat snack.

First year of production in the organic greenhouse at the Singen/Beuren gardeners' estate off to a successful start
After completion of the construction work, production in the organic greenhouse of the gardeners' settlement Singen/Beuren could start at the beginning of 2021. Organic fruit vegetables were grown on 4 hectares, which are primarily available to consumers in organic specialty stores. As a result, the share of organic produce rose from 4 million kilograms in the previous year to over 5 million kilograms.

Organic vegetables are good for Reichenau Gemüse
The start of production in the organic greenhouse was also reflected in the turnover: while this was 36.08 million euros in the previous year, the cooperative can report an increase in turnover of 14.63% to 41.4 million euros for 2021. Thus, the share of organic goods in total sales in 2021 is just under 50%.

In addition to a successful marketing campaign for Reichenau's organic vegetables, the success of regional organic products is probably primarily due to consumers' nutritional awareness. Fueled by the pandemic, but also by the climate issue, people are increasingly placing value on healthy nutrition with fresh products from the region.

By the end of 2021, price increases were already noticeable on the energy market, the packaging and raw materials market, and in the logistics sector. Due to the Ukraine war, vegetable cultivation in the Reichenau region will face challenges with an enormously high impact. Price developments for fertilizers, but also disrupted supply chains and, in addition, increasingly high transport costs represent only part of these challenges and are bringing individual farms to the edge of what they can cope with. However, cooperative marketing will prove its worth even in times of crisis and help to ensure that people in southern Germany can continue to be reliably supplied with fresh vegetables from the Reichenau region.

For more information:
Reichenau-Gemüse eG
Marktstraße 1
78479 Insel Reichenau
Deutschland
Tel.: +49 (0) 7534 9200-0
info@reichenaugemuese.de 
reichenaugemuese.de 


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