Responsible cultivation methods
Shallots are cultivated outdoors in the soil. There is a wide range of varieties, each suited to local growing conditions. Breeders select the varieties for characteristics that are important for growers and for consumers. In the Netherlands most of the shallots are grown from seed. Compared to the conventional method of growing shallots, where the shallots are propagated from bulbs, this guarantees a virus-free start. This means less risk of disease in the crops during cultivation and storage.
The specially selected growers use the latest techniques, such as precision farming with GPS, to ensure responsible cultivation. The strict demands paced on cultivation methods are clearly described in protocols, issued for example by supermarket branch organisations. All the cultivation data is registered to demonstrate compliance with the high food safety standards.
Organically cultivated shallots must comply with even stricter standards. No chemical fertilisers or crop protection products may be applied during cultivation. After the shallot seeds have been sown weeds are controlled using precision methods and burning. Organic growers know everything about the soil, soil life and soil fertility. Organic growers are progressive in other ways too. After the shallots have been harvested they are stored in units equipped with mechanical cooling so that high quality, organically grown shallots are available for as long as possible. Organic shallots are not yet available all year round.