The lower returns in the spring and early summer harvests of 2017 were partially compensated, in terms of volume, by the normal harvest results in the second half of the year. We could say that things are back to normal. The autumn rains were extremely welcome, preventing the threatened poor harvests of autumn and winter greens.
- Leeks, cabbages and Brussels sprouts were harvested in sufficient volume and quality. Only the percentage of smaller Brussels sprouts will likely be lower than expected. This is compensated by the slightly higher availability of the larger sizes.
- Black salsify will be harvested in December and January. The quality and yields are, as yet, as expected.
- Most South-European crops performed satisfactorily. Only the winter broccoli harvests have been delayed due to continued freezing conditions. This has caused supply lags for both the fresh vegetable market and the fresh-frozen industry. A setback, especially for the end of the year.
- All organic vegetable harvests went according to plan. In 2018 and 2019 the available acreage for organic farming will be further increased.
- The global fruit market shows a mixed picture. Apples, cherries, plums and red berries are insufficiently available. Rhubarb is scarce and expensive. Raspberries and strawberries have maintained their stable high price level.
- The 2017 herb harvest can be regarded as normal. The quality and quantity have both been satisfactory. We foresee a further expansion of crop and production capacities in 2018.
The stable European market continues to grow.
Conventional vegetables continue to be the main segment, and mixed vegetables in particular are growing every year. The market for organic products also continues to grow for all segments, as does the demand for easy vegetarian alternatives: vegetable snacks, grilled vegetables, deep-fried vegetables. Ardo has been investing heavily in innovation these past years and is well-prepared to meet the demand for convenient and healthy products.
Non-European markets are also seeing a lot of movement and sales are on the up. In addition to the traditional sales of conventional fresh-frozen vegetables, the demand for organic vegetables and convenience products is rising exponentially. Here too, Ardo made the necessary investments to comply with the new markets’ specific demands years ago. Investments have been made in crops and production as well as innovations in complex packaging solutions. These new systems are sure to be further expanded for general use in domestic markets. Ardo is constantly challenged by the search for options using fresh-frozen vegetables in the most varied applications, markets and packaging types. A challenge we are glad to accept!