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"Maarten de Moor, LAVA: "We are still working for the growers!"

Belgium: Establishment Freshcoop launches international cooperation

On 29 November the Belgian city of Leuven witnessed the birth of a “transnational union of fresh produce organisations”. The organisation was nicknamed Freshcoop and was set up to unite horticulturalists from Belgium and France. Producers from two important horticultural regions, Flanders and Brittany, will join forces. The new transnational organisation represents 4 Flemish and 7 French growers’ organisations with an accumulated turnover of 900 million Euro. It will also be a meeting-ground for two familiar labels: Flandria and Prince de Bretagne. Organisations from other regions have already expressed interest in joining.

Maarten de Moor of LAVA says there are already good examples of national cooperation in both Belgium and France. “In Brittany that would be Cerafel, the umbrella organization of Prince de Bretagne. Cerafel is somewhat similar to LAVA. We both work well together at a national level, and now the founding of Freshcoop allows us to further investigate our common goals.”

"So far it is about the production of cauliflower, leek, tomato, pepper and chicory. We initially chose five products both regions have in common. We explored the possibilities of cooperation and this is essentially the beginning. Yet, cooperation with Prince de Bretagne not entirely new. We have been in regular contact for five years. Now, we’re considering whether or not more producer organizations can participate. So possibly, this is just the beginning of a much bigger venture. Efficiency is the key word.”

“It’s good to create a stronger market position this way. The government allows for produce to be marketed under the cost price, which is an outrage. By working together, we can strive for more honest price levels and a more stable market. In today’s market, producers are fighting amongst themselves, trying to make a living. We are trying to generate a market where many producers can meet as many customers as possible.”

"Questions that arise are: should we continue to import to serve the customer year-round? In which ways do you offer added value? Each market must be approached in a specific way. We must always find out which marketing methods are best, "concludes Martin.

For more information:
Maarten De Moor
+32 (0)15 50 42 52
[email protected]
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