BERRIES FROM DOMESTIC RESOURCES FOR THE FRUIT PROCESSING INDUSTRY IN GERMANY ¿ POSSIBILITIES AND CONSTRAINTS
German production of canned fruits, jam and fruit preparations for the dairy industry highly depends on berries as charge material - mainly strawberries and raspberries, but also black and red currants, blueberries and gooseberries. On average, 45% of the berry-based final products in terms of quantity is raw material, and - depending on the price for the primary products - 25% to 45% of the ex factory unit values goes to the cost for berries. For years the fruits have been almost exclusively imported from the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC). During the ongoing transition of these economies, supplies and the price of berries fluctuate heavily. The main reasons are lower production capacities, higher production variability, the lack of market transparency due to the elimination of the former state trading organisations, and last but not least the gradually tightened protectionism of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with its complex systems of import quotas, and minimum import prices and duties which vary according to country of origin and species of fruit. This fluctuation in berry supply and price caused us to seek a more reliable supply of raw materials. The obvious thing to do is to check opportunities to take up or increase domestic berry production for processing. Calculations have been undertaken to assess production costs and margins for strawberries, raspberries, black currants, blueberries and gooseberries. The evaluation of economic efficiency shows that due to high labour cost, German berry production is feasible in special situations only. One indispensable prerequisite for domestic production is a contractual agreement, on a well-balanced distribution of risks and risk premiums, between the farmer and processor. This is necessary because berry production is characterised by a high initial investment, an unproductive first year (or years) of cultivation, and a long pay-off period.
Schmidt, E. and Maack, K. (2003). BERRIES FROM DOMESTIC RESOURCES FOR THE FRUIT PROCESSING INDUSTRY IN GERMANY ¿ POSSIBILITIES AND CONSTRAINTS. Acta Hortic. 626, 459-466
Jam, canned fruits, fruit preparations; economic efficiency of berry production; German imports of berries, contractual arrangements