Netherlands: «More berries are always consumed after New Year»

This year, The Grower Retail Connexion was present at the Fruit Logistica fairs in Hong Kong and Berlin; Produces Show in London, Amsterdam and New York; Fruit Attraction in Madrid; Macfrut in Rimini, AGF Detail in Houten, and PMA in Orlando and Santiago, with the aim of making its Body&Brains concept known to all clients and producers. «Our concept of fruit of good quality in an innovative packaging and a striking logo has been very well received, and we can start to supply this container from mid-January. We are very impatient«, confesses Robbert Leisink.

Import season

The current berry season has gone very well, according to Leisink. «The blueberry import season began with high prices, which have not decreased much. Throughout the season, we had two weeks in which prices were paralyzed by weather conditions, but still remained at a pretty good level. The programs continued as usual, although the daily trade was a little behind, but, fortunately, we had good quality berries and tasty all season.«.

img_2729«Currently, there is good demand and we have been with the same prices for more than three weeks. In January and February, more volume will reach the market from Chile, which always reduces prices. Luckily, we have a lot of promotional campaigns planned during those months. For example, after the New Year, many people will have made resolutions, such as doing sports and eating healthy, and berries are part of that trend. Thanks to our Body & Brains concept, supermarkets can help consumers understand the importance of a healthier diet«.

«With Body & Brains, we can kill three birds with one stone«continues Leisink. «A more aware consumer, a supermarket that contributes to it and an increase in sales of 'berries', both our brand and other brands, which also benefits our sector and makes us all win«.

Growers Packers is a member of Planasa, a nursery that produces Adelita and Lupita raspberries. «We have these varieties all year round, and are distinguished by their size, taste and shelf life. Growing Adelita in the Netherlands gives us very good results, both in the greenhouses and in the open field, and we have spoken with several producers in Belgium, Germany and Austria to start cultivating them there as well.«explains Leisink. Growers Packers sells most of its berries to Western European supermarket chains. «There are always blueberries, at least as long as we plant them on time. However, sometimes there is a shortage of raspberries, as in September and October, but we believe we can fill those gaps with local Adelita«.

«Our approach is very successful thanks to its direct lines with supermarkets, with whom we work with total transparency, and we are fair to producers and buyers. We also collaborate as much as we can with partner companies to strengthen each other. In the end, it is the most beneficial for the sector«Adds Leisink. His company strives to maintain good quality. «We inspect and test more than 95% of the pallets before sending them to their destination, whether they are from Spain, Chile or Poland. The remaining 5% is inspected by third parties, but following our criteria, which focus on taste, appearance and shelf life, which improves the benefits of our customers and our producers«.

The year 2017 will also come full of challenges. «The 'berries' are some of the most expensive fruits in the linear ones. Therefore, as suppliers, we have the responsibility to pamper and satisfy consumers, because it is the only way to buy again and allow us to grow as a sector. It can always be improved, even when we think we are doing well. For example, we can improve the supply chain from refrigeration to linear. We are ready for another wonderful year and we hope that many doors will open"He concludes.


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