Nick Rietveld, senior sales for cucumbers at The Greenery, says the company is focusing on natural cultivation

Pile of cucumbers Adobe Stock

Image: Adobe Stock

While the market for Dutch cucumbers is currently stable, key factors such as the weather and energy costs continue to have an impact on the business.

This is according to Nick Rietveld, senior sales for cucumbers at international fruit and vegetable company The Greenery.

He says Nielsen scanner data from Dutch supermarkets shows turnover generated by the cucumber market is stable, with a 1 per cent increase in year-on-year volumes in 2023.

Some producers in the Netherlands have, however, faced up to the reality of rising costs by opting to grow alternative products.

”The entire greenhouse industry is super dependent on energy,” Rietveld confirms. ”Some of our growers also suffer from high energy costs, and we see them making different cultivation choices.

”For cucumber growers this is reflected in the time of starting,” he continues. ”Where cultivation used to start in February, they now start later, in March, because of the presence of more natural light.

“The weather has the biggest impact on the growth of cucumbers,” Rietveld confirms. ”As cucumbers grow very fast, you see the effect of a few dark days already, a week later. The plants produce fewer fruits.”

The Greenery’s cucumber focus is firmly on natural cultivation, something that aligns with its vision of making fruit and vegetables accessible to everyone in a sustainable way.

“The Greenery has joined a pilot in which cucumber growers, among others, are giving themselves three years to go 100 per cent green,” Rietveld adds.

”In doing so, they are replacing chemical crop protection agents with low-risk active ingredients, microorganisms, pheromones, plant extracts and natural-identical substances.”