Vegetable and legume company HAK from Giessen will shut down production for six weeks from January. With the current energy prices, it is not feasible to continue production in the winter, says the canning manufacturer.
There will be HAK products on the shelves, the company says. They plan the break for when the harvest season is finished. Processing products such as legumes can be more flexible and the company still has stock for unexpected circumstances.
During the harvest season, HAK collects vegetables from the fields and then preserves them in glass jars. The heating required for the preservation process uses a lot of energy. The glass jars used by the company are also more expensive due to increased energy costs.
The company expects prices to continue to rise. “Our applesauce is already about 20 cents more expensive. If energy prices remain so high, you have to consider that the price of products across the board could go up by by 30 percent.” With a pot of applesauce now costing 1.80 euros, it quickly goes up to to around 2.30 euros, Hoogeboom comments.
If it is no longer possible to pass on the higher energy prices to consumers, the availability of products may ultimately also be compromised. “If companies have to sell below cost for months, things will go wrong.” He does not expect any empty shelves for HAK for the time being. “But I don’t rule it out for the chain, especially in January, February and March.” A temporary energy ceiling for companies could help, the HAK director adds.