New Flandria celeriac season gets underway

Cooler weather calls for hearty vegetables. Some people argue that Flandria celeriac is old-fashioned, but no, it's actually surprisingly trendy, and healthy into the bargain! Dispel the old cliché and surprise your customers with careful presentation and some culinary tips. October is a great month for promotional campaigns.

Increasing supplies
The new Flandria celeriac has been available since early September as part of the smooth transition from old to new products. The supply hits its peak between October and March. In weeks 40 to 42, the trade can already expect 150,000 heads per week, and the supplies increase as October advances, reaching 150,000 to 200,000 heads/week in weeks 43-44.
The bulb cannot withstand the frost, so it is harvested before the first frost and chilled immediately. Optimum storage means that demand from the market can be satisfied virtually all year round, with the Flandria guarantee.

Market demand varies, and so does the response
REO Auction meets specific demands from the buyers:
• Fresh market: block sales on the clock, with green leaves, homogeneous quality.
• Supermarkets/fourth range: product without leaves, large volumes grown to contract.
• LAVA intermediation: large volumes at weekly prices.
• One to one: producer and big customer.
• E-intermediation.

Buying Flandria = buying with confidence
REO Auction, the major player for the marketing of Flandria celeriac, has set the bar high in terms of quality and presentation, and this is bearing fruit. What the inspectors rate as perfect Flandria quality means that buyers have the guarantee of knowing in advance how the product they are buying will look:
• firm, heavy bulb; feels dry to the touch
• regular shape, well developed
• fresh leaves indicate the freshness (at the beginning of the season)
• fresh cut close to the bulb
• regular white flesh
• free of damage and germination
• graded by bulb diameter

Differentiation in packaging
The underpinning factor is the producers' willingness to differentiate and specialise:
• standard 6 and 7, ... heads, loose, without leaves, in EH crate.
• limited volume of smaller size, 6 heads in ET crate.
• smaller sizes in 10 kg sacks of 6, 8, 10 heads or 10-12 heads per sack.
• smaller size available on demand, in wooden crate of 6 heads (8 head grading).
• smaller volumes in big bags.
• for the domestic market, on demand in collapsible crates.
• export: big bags, nets (10 kg), crates, etc.
• other packaging types on demand.

Fresh on the shelf
The Flandria quality label is the guarantee of product reputation and homogeneous presentation.
The refrigeration chain is essential in preserving top quality and a guarantee of optimum keeping properties.

This also applies to the shopkeeper:
• The best way to store Flandria celeriac on the shelf is at 2-5 °C and RH of 90 to 95%.
• Temperature fluctuations will inevitably lead to a loss of quality. Try to handle the vegetable as little as possible.
• Mist the leaves and bulbs regularly.
• Tip for clients: when kept in a cool place, this vegetable will keep fresh for a good week; once the celeriac has been cut into, cover it and it will keep in the fridge for several days.

A trendy accompaniment for game
Celeriac has a hearty, rounded, aromatic flavour. It is delicious boiled or steamed in vegetable dishes, soups and stews. Cream of celeriac soup with finely chopped herbs and celeriac gratin to accompany game are gastronomic treats. It also goes wonderfully well as a garnish with fish.
Tell your customers how trendy cooking with celeriac is. As well as being boiled, fried or stir-fried, it can also be served raw, to add a fresh taste in salads or in a sandwich. Surprise your customers with some tasty samples; celeriac batons with a dipping sauce. Give them some culinary tips. For an original twist, why not suggest coarsely grated fried celeriac as a hearty canapé.
The health aspect is also not to be sniffed at! As well as being low in calories (28 kcal per 100 g), this vegetable is a great standby in cooler weather thanks to its high levels of vitamin C and minerals (iron and calcium). A flavoursome vegetable like celeriac is crammed with valuable fibre and oligo-elements such as chromium and selenium.

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