Herbert Widmann Ltd expects 20 percent more blueberries from Lüneburger Heide, Bavaria and Romania

For the new blueberry season, Herbert Widmann Ltd is starting with products from three producing regions: Lüneburg Heath, Bavaria and Romania. Hans Widmann, managing partner of the company, informs us that the blueberries from all three regions have so far been of good quality.

“We expect prices to develop at roughly the same level as last year, but with higher costs. However, we hope to be able to compensate for this with higher harvest volumes," said Widmann. Demand, he said, is once again moving in a good direction. “We start early enough with commercials, which is essential for marketing. In the past, there was a gap in the last two weeks of June. But this year, the promotions are off to a good start.”

The Bavarian blueberries are grown on 50 hectares near Aichach and are marketed in Bavaria, while the Romanian products are sold in Romania and some in Germany and Austria. The "fat blues" of Lüneburger Heide are in turn distributed throughout Germany.

20 percent more blueberries from all three regions

For Romanian blueberries there are good areas with enough pickers available, as well as good to very good weather conditions, says Widmann. "In Romania, we have already been harvesting for two weeks, so the Romanian product is the first to hit the market after the Spanish season, before moving on to the German one," says Widmann.

"Our affiliated growers in the Lüneburger Heide region, which are managed by Nordgemüse Krogmann & Co.,
they will also start harvesting outdoors this week. As there were no frosts, neither in Germany nor in Romania, we expect full yields this year. We expect around 20 percent more blueberries from Lüneburger Heide, Bavaria and Romania."

About the commercialization of blueberries
“Marketing Bavarian blueberries in Bavaria is much easier because we can market them regionally. Unfortunately, this is not possible on the Lüneburg Heath in this way. Our growers would like to see the 'German origin' highlighted and given more appreciation," says Widmann. In the trade, the local product is found in small formats, while the large formats are used for the foreign product, such as the Romanian or also the blueberries from Poland, which will start in two weeks. "The costs of German products are noticeably higher, but unfortunately this is not compensated in terms of price."

However, the soft fruit specialist wonders why Peruvian blueberries are already on the shelves. "When it's high season in Europe and large quantities are already being marketed from countries like Germany, Romania and Poland, we don't need any more blueberries from Peru, packed in 125-gram trays." Especially since the local product is mainly marketed in 500-gram trays, which, according to Widmann, is more sustainable and profitable.

Dominant variety: Duke
Herbert Widmann also buys additional products from Serbia; the Serbian season lasts about three weeks and the early Duke variety hits the markets around the same time as the Romanian products. According to Widmann, the Duke variety also dominates in Germany and Romania. “This is an early variety that has a lot of yield and is of good quality. However, late varieties like Drapers and Last Call are also becoming more popular,” Widmann concludes.

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