BelOrta officially started the new cucumber growing season on Monday. The first cucumbers of this year were delivered by Ties Verbaarschot from Someren in Brabant and bought by Fruithandel Sebrechts from Broechem in Belgium.
By selling the first cucumbers, the cooperative traditionally starts the new first season. BelOrta reports that it sold 122 million cucumbers to the fresh market last year. “Due to the reduction in acreage and high energy costs, this number was lower than a season earlier,” adds the cooperative. In addition, a total of 5 million kilograms were sold to the industry.
Consumers willingly bought cucumbers last year, BelOrta writes based on data from GfK Belgium. ‘Shortly before the corona period, consumption averaged just over 1 kilogram per person. Over the past two years, this has risen to 1.32 kilograms in 2022. Almost one extra cucumber a year.’
The hot summer is one reason for the increase in cucumber consumption, Belorta points out. “Consumers are more likely to reach for fresh cucumber for salads. In addition, cucumber is increasingly seen as a healthy snack.” This year, the area of cucumbers near BelOrta will increase to 265 hectares.