30 Oct 2014

Asparagus growers grumpy at prices

2:21 pm on 30 October 2014

The asparagus season is now well underway but growers say they are doing it tough.

Not only are they grumpy about the prices fresh asparagus is fetching but they fear for the future with Watties looking to can its canning facility.

Asparagus Council chairman Tony Rickman said harvesting only began in Waikato in September but a lot of growers were already annoyed with what has been going on in the market.

"There's a little bit of dissatisfaction from some of the growers mainly angled at irresponsible marketing agents which have depressed the price but that's a function of supply and demand.

"Obviously with huge supply and the weather being how it has been demand hasn't been quite as strong as previous years.

"It's a case of people have their coolstores full and are at full capacity but the demand or the pull from the market isn't quite as great.

"Asparagus is harvested every single day it's got a very short shelf life so it has to be picked, packed and dispatched or sold every single day for 100 days.

"If production is greater than supply into the market people get a bit nervous and hence the market price drops to levels that are probably not sustainable."