KernAktuell January 2020, News
The 2019 harvest in Europe
The 2019 harvest
Despite average oil pumpkin harvests in Austria and Eastern Europe in 2019, stocks will run out in the course of 2020.
It is well known that for the past three years the prices paid to producers have not been sufficiently attractive for them to grow oil pumpkins. Prices plummeted after the record harvest of 2016 and processors took to living on their reserve stocks.
To achieve the necessary level of supply for 2021 (to cover actual needs and build up reserves), prices for the coming growing season must reach a level that reawakens farmers’ interest in growing pumpkins.
All purchasers have increased their contract growing prices for the 2020 season by more than 20% over last year. Whether that provides the necessary incentive depends in part on the prospects of competing crops. In addition, harvest yields will need to be at least average if the demand is to be met. In view of the yield volatility of a natural product such as the oil pumpkin, this is always a risk.
For organic oil pumpkins grown in Austria, the supply situation is looking better; this is because the area under cultivation has remained constant in recent years and harvest quantities in 2019 were adequate. Although yields of organic pumpkin were good in 2019, this is no reason to ease back on growing them, because organic yields fluctuate widely from year to year.
Organic pumpkin seeds of European rather than Austrian origin are virtually unobtainable, because growing areas in Europe have not developed in the past. In consequence, the infrastructure needed to intensify cultivation of this crop is not in place.
To ensure supply security, 2020 will therefore be a year in which the area on which oil pumpkins are grown is expanded.
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