Tomato grower Paul Stoffels grows kiwi berries

On 26 August, the kiwi berry season officially started. As a result of the warm spring, Hoogstraten's harvest has arrived exceptionally early. "About three weeks earlier than other years," says Jan Engelen, sales and marketing director of Veiling Hoogstraten.


The kiwi berries of Stoffels being selected and packed

Tomatoes and kiwi berries 
Paul Stoffels, owner of Stoffels Tomatoes, was one of the first growers to introduce kiwi berries, as the firm's focus is on specialities. In addition to greenhouse-related projects, Stoffels is interested in special projects. Together with his wife Petra Veldman he has an area of 7,000 square meters of kiwi berries.



"We started planting the kiwi berries in 2008," he says. It takes a while, but after four to five years you get a top production. "The cultivation of kiwi berry is actually not comparable to any other crop; it really is unique. They are mainly grown in the open field; the berries are harvested hard and then left to ripen. By first cooling them and then stored with apples, the ethylene produced by the latter ensures the ripening. That way they reach the consumer in the right condition and with a wonderful flavour." According to Jan, they can be stored for quite long "but that doesn't happen often, as they are always quickly sold out."

Read more about kiwi berries.

For more information:
BVBA Stoffels
www.stoffels-tomaten.be

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