Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.

Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.

Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period.

Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.

The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking...early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours.

An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.

A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.


Market

While there is little competition on asparagus production not on a national level, internationaly competition is intense. In Greece there are about 50000 hectares mainly on province of Evros and province of Kavala division Nestos, east of Thessaloniki (Pella, Imathis) and at Agrinio. The whole production is been exported but still cannot cover the demand especially during the first weeks of harvesting.

At the Nestos area there are about ten small factories, of which the most belong to the cooperations working exclusively with the products of their own members. There is little business experience and expertise, even when the trade is lead by local traders. The factories work on an oportunistic manner and donnot care for proper logistics. In many cases there is no capital for any kind of investements.

Schotman Hendrik S.A. consentrates on export, industrialisation and creation of logistic and automation solutions. It operates emphasising flexibility and stable choises, which makes it very competitive compared to the coopeartive factories. On an international level however the competition is stiff.