Fresh produce company Landgard has suggested that the much-anticipated start of Germany's asparagus season will be around two weeks early this season thanks to recent mild weather.
Provided the weather continues to be favourable, harvesting could be in full swing as soon as the start of April, it said in a press release.
In some southern parts of the country, such as Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse, harvesting is already reported to be underway, with some asparagus grown under tunnels ready almost four weeks ahead of schedule.
According to Landgard director Karl Voges, the marketer will seek to emphasise the regional and local nature of its supply, taking extra care to convey that proximity to its customers and to consumers.
"This is something we're conscious of," he commented. "For that reason, we will be making the concept of regionality for asparagus even more concrete in the minds of consumers."
Landgard recently commissioned DLG to carry out a survey of consumers, 65 per cent of whom said they paid attention to regional origin, especially when it came to fresh fruit and vegetables.
Around 83 per cent of those polled said they believed 'regional' meant the product in question had been grown in their own federal state.
"The consumer wants to know where his vegetables come and this is especially true for asparagus," noted Jens Pawlik, managing director of Landgard East.
"In this context, Landgard begins with the regional window for local products, even asparagus. For seasonal products especially, the regional window gives us a high level of recognition."