Review of a major Asparagus business in Europe and production of a report including recommendations for the transformation of the business in respect to its growth into a major global business.
The review covered the whole business including all aspects from seed development to growing, packaging, distribution and marketing.
The review included visits to various sites such as; breeding, packaging facilities, planting and cultivation both inside and outside, distribution and marketing, etc.
Asparagus is an easy crop to grow. Planting is a once in a generation event. It is a High Value, labour intensive perennial crop.
Many people stopped growing it as it ties up a field 100% for the whole year.
Asparagus is a very healthy food, it provides a truly unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients and a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients.
Asparagus is a world food, very versatile and it travels well.
Asparagus is a high value crop that is in increasing demand. The challenge is to be able to supply the product 365 days a year to all consumer markets globally.
Recommendations for the development of the business included the re-structuring to create discreet business units focused on specific entities, areas and markets. Because the business was involved in everything from seed development to delivering the product to market the specific entities which had significant value in their own right were lost as they were included within the overall general business.
Major benefits could be had by developing and marketing specific entities as standalone products and services with new entities such as Consulting Services, Health and Fitness, Special Purpose Equipment (Planting, Processing and Packaging) and Training being created that would both add value and enhance the profitability of the whole business.
With many parts of the business already existing and having a certain amount of maturity it would be relatively easy to re-structure creating business units that could focus on specific markets with an offer that was better defined and more profitable thus adding considerable value to the whole business.
In recent years Asia, Oceania and South America has experienced significant growth whereas Europe and North America has remained roughly stable. The difference between these two diverging developments is explained by the most decisive cost factor in the production of asparagus, the different labour costs.
While China leads the way in global asparagus production, it is primarily consumed domestically, meaning that they lag behind in exporting the product. It is, in fact, Peru that tops the list of the world's asparagus exporters.
The following is a selection of the most important countries of origin for Asparagus production.
Europe: Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, UK, Hungary, Greece and Poland.
Africa : South Africa.
Asia: China, Taiwan.
The Americas: USA, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
Opportunities exist in other countries, notably Africa to grow this high value crop for export especially as it travels well.