In the heart of Burgenland, Michael Unger cultivates peppers year-round, and the cost of heating his glass houses has increased tremendously this year. "We normally have gas costs of 40,000 to 45,000 euros in September, but now pay about 160,000 euros." He believes that the Austrian consumer is still willing to spend a little more on regional products. "I believe we have good customers in Austria. So I hope they will be the same great customers in the future," he tells ORF.
The energy crisis is also causing problems for Austria's largest greenhouse vegetable producer, Gemüse Perlinger. Not only are they struggling with energy costs, they are struggling with the CO2 tax as well. "Many industrial companies are exempt from the tax at 95 percent. But we food producers are not. And this year, even in August still, the consumption-based apportionment of gas has increased retroactively - from 2 cents to 90 cents. That adds up to over 800,000 euros a year for our company," says Patrick Haider of Perlinger Gemüse. Meanwhile, it no longer pays to produce certain types of vegetables year-round, which is why there will be no tomatoes from October to March, for example.