The first 17,000 cucumber plants are in the greenhouse at Kwekerij Noord-Oost in Oosterhout, Netherlands and that number will grow to 41,000 in the coming days. As one of the first growers, Albert Kosdi and his staff are planting a new crop this season, writes the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. His 'Gurken' are going to Germany, the grower tells the newspaper. The grower expects to harvest in about four weeks.
His Oosterhout cucumbers go through life as Gurken from then on. ,,Because they almost all go to Germany. To the German stores of the Aldi retail chain. And a small part goes to the local market here, but the vast majority is for Germany," Kosdi knows.
He is currently planting with five staff members. Next month, at harvest time, that will increase to eighteen staff members. "People with permanent contracts and part-timers with temporary contracts, a nice mix," said the Oosterhout grower.
Wind in the back
North East has the wind at its back, especially since Kosdi signed an energy contract in 2019 that runs through 2024. So his greenhouses are running at "pre-war" prices. , "Yes, I benefit from that. No, I'm lucky with that," Kosdi corrects himself.
''Let me say it's lucky. Also because colleagues are skipping crops because of high gas prices. Cucumbers like heat, it's 20 degrees in the greenhouse. So I can work for the old prices in a market where cucumbers are also getting scarcer. So they are good prices now. Now we still have competition from Spain, but in the summer we have the empire more or less alone."
Each of the 41,000 plants is good for around thirty cucumbers. With that, over 1.2 million will go out the door in Oosterhout in this harvest round. Kwekerij Noord-Oost also used to grow lettuce but has devoted itself entirely to cucumbers and has three growing rounds per year.