Flandria fennel is essential in the summer range
Fennel, which used to be such an outsider, has become a classic without which no summer range would now be complete. Flandria quality, good levels of availability and unbroken supplies into November are guaranteed. Appropriate sales systems meet the wishes of retail and wholesale alike.
Quantities available into the autumn
Because our climate is so suitable, and thanks to increasing interest from growers, the LAVA auctions have seen a steady rise in fennel production over recent years. This year again, production has surged, partly because of production under glass, which has made for an extended low season. The top months for supplies are from July to the end of September: weeks 28-42 are expected to yield between 120,000 and 150,000 heads/week. Even as late as October and early November (W43-45) there is still guaranteed to be 80,000 to 100,000 heads/week.
Optimum Flandria quality
The producers are successfully bringing an attractive, healthy product to market. What marks it out from foreign product is a strong set of specifications and inspection standards applied by the auction.
Inspectors guarantee optimum Flandria quality:
clean colour: white to pale green
well shaped, without side shoots
no roots, short leaves
no brown marks or damage
the bulb feels firm
uniform bulb shape in the pack
fresh green leaves trimmed to 10 cm
Flandria fennel is divided up according to the number of heads per crate, and may vary: 6, 8, 10, 12 heads/crate (always 4 kg/crate). Homogeneity in the crate is guaranteed by grading according to the same weight/head, which makes for an attractive consistent presentation in the crate. The standard arrangement is 8 heads/crate in EPS-T (4 kg). Boxes can also be supplied to order, particularly for export.
Sale on the clock and intermediation
Large quantities are sold on the clock. Retailers can set up seasonal contracts with the LAVA auctions. This guarantees continuous supplies of product throughout the season at fixed prices. In addition, various sales systems are available which respond to the specific demands of large customers and retailers alike, such as weekly agreements, daily prices and so on.
Shopping tips for good storage
present in the original packaging in the greengrocery section
overnight chilling from 0-1°C and RH of 90 to 95% is ideal
never place boxes of fennel in a draught
mist regularly to prevent drying out, and cover against draughts
Explain the best storage methods to your customers, and tell them about all the advantages of Flandria. Advise them to keep their fennel in the salad drawer in the fridge.
Truly versatile in the kitchen!
The slightly aniseed flavour takes some getting used to, but that is precisely what makes it so surprising and so popular with children. This healthy vegetable is low in calories, easy to digest and a superb source of vitamins A and C, as well as being rich in minerals. The true devotee enjoys raw fennel finely chopped in salads: this is when the typical aniseed flavour comes through most strongly. Fennel can be grilled, stuffed, braised or made into a purée. If you cook it, it makes a perfect accompaniment for chicken or fish. One original dish your customers will enjoy is cream of fennel soup with the fresh leaves as a garnish or to heighten the flavour.
The sky really is the limit with this versatile vegetable: in a stir-fry, it goes brilliantly with those other favourite summer vegetables: cucumber, courgette, aubergine, tomato and peppers. Why not put on a stir-fry tasting session to show your customers just how versatile this vegetable is? Tempt them to take the summer home with them and give your sales a boost!