KernAktuell September 2019, News
Pumpkin harvest 2019 Europe/Austria
Europe/Austria: despite average yields, Styrian pumpkin seeds are heading for a shortage
It was evident as early as the spring of 2019, once the Austrian oil pumpkin growing area had been announced, that there will be competition for pumpkin seeds unless yields are above average. The crop then got off to a poor start with a cool and wet May, which heightened fears of an impending shortage and triggered a further rise in prices, which were already increasing at double-digit rates. A summer conducive to growth enabled the oil pumpkin to do some catching up. At harvest time – which started relatively early, at the end of August – it quickly became clear that this would be no more than an average year. Hopes of peak yields were not fulfilled.
Fluctuations in yield, both regionally and from field to field, are also significantly larger than in previous years. This puts additional pressure on availability, because some agricultural direct sellers are short of seeds and are buying pumpkin seeds on the open market at prices one-third above those of the previous year.
Unless there is significant topping up of minimum contract prices for the 2019 harvest, contract growing will come under huge pressure – because the payment for the current crop has a direct impact on what is grown the following year. A significant increase in the oil pumpkin growing area is needed in 2020 to meet demand and restock emptying warehouses. The fluctuating yields and prices of the 2019 crop of oil pumpkins present a picture that was familiar before 2016. Prices will rise further, but there will be no change in availability!
Ein kleiner Einblick
The biggest contract grower
of oil pumpkins PGI
Alwera AG, Estyria’s parent company, is responsible for production of the raw goods via a contract farming system. The two companies have for some years maintained the largest PDI area of oil pumpkin in Austria and they know the fields and the farmers personally.Read more
stamp press process
While modernity has brought progress in many areas, the traditional Styrian stamp press process is still the best way of making pumpkin seed oil. The main difference between this and other pressing methods is that we work with open roasting pans. At our plant, people check when the pumpkin seeds are perfectly roasted and so will yield the very best oil. This enables our experienced oil millers to produce the pumpkin seed oil that has won more prizes than any other – and which as a result of this type of pressing retains all the natural constituents. The untreated oil is not filtered; the particles that make it cloudy settle naturally when the oil is left to rest.Read more