Greece’s asparagus production area is around 5,000 hectares in the Kavala and Agrinio regions, mainly marketed fresh to other EU countries. Although 97% is dedicated to white varieties, this year, for the first time, some pioneer companies are also growing green asparagus. The 2020 asparagus season in Greece kicked off 10 days early this year, as the warm weather across South-Eastern Europe accelerated the growth of the product and brought good quality. Consequently, all calibres of white and purple asparagus are available earlier than normal. Peru is the only competitor currently on the market with higher volumes. But as Greek producers’ sustainable packaging meets the requirements of most German retailers (the main market), they are ahead of their South American rivals.
positive early season
Delta Spar has made a positive and early start to the asparagus season in the Greek region of Kavala: “Thanks to the good weather we have had in Greece, the season will start early and should end in early May. The product quality is essentially of the same level as that of last year, both for the 12 gauge and for the 14 and 16 gauges,” said Anastasios Papargyriou. Available exclusively in the white and purple type, Delta Spar’s asparagus is mainly destined for the major European supermarket chains in Germany, Italy and Spain.
Starts producing green asparagus
Coop Kavala is preparing to introduce green asparagus alongside its production of white to expand its range: “In the last 5-6 years, the asparagus sector has seen major changes, with the arrival on the market of new producers who have replaced old ones. Today we have reached the point where resources have to be optimised. This is why we have chosen to take on the challenge of introducing green asparagus, with the certainty that the asparagus produced in our region has an incomparable taste,” said general manager Karkatzalos Tasos. With a combined 150 hectares divided between approximately 50 producer members, Coop Kavala is the main Greek producer of asparagus. The product is mainly exported to the major European markets, such as Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland, Austria, France, Poland and above all Germany.
asparagus from protected cultivation
The Assos Cooperative supplies asparagus from the Greek region of Kavala produced using protected and heated cultivation methods: “We essentially produce white asparagus, and have recently started to use protected and heated cultivation techniques, which allow us to harvest earlier than other production areas. We also offer new, cheaper and more sustainable packaging to meet the needs of large retailers,” said the cooperative’s president, Leonidas Kafetzopoulos. At the outset of a season that promises to be a positive one and in line with the previous campaigns, Assos’ asparagus is destined mainly for export, especially to Germany, France and Italy.
with organic and green asparagus
Agiasma expects a positive asparagus campaign in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, and anticipates the arrival of the first green varieties: “For 27 years we have been cultivating exclusively white asparagus. This year’s favourable weather conditions will allow us to bring forward the harvest to mid-February for asparagus grown in the field. From next year, we are also thinking of introducing the first green asparagus and starting organic production,” said the firm’s president, Nikolaos Emmanouilidis. Agiasma’s high-quality product is destined primarily for European markets, with 20% going to Italy, another 20% to the Netherlands, and the remainder to southern Germany.