The British company, Vitacress, began in 1951 with the cultivation of watercress, and was the first growing company to grow watercress outside the regular British season in Portugal. Vitacress's range expanded over the years to include baby leafs and herbs. Starting this year, all the spices and herbs from Tesco will be grown by Vitacress. In 2012 Vitacress made its debut on the Dutch market with Vitacress Real, which focuses on the Dutch, Belgian and German markets. Last month Vitacress Real moved into a new location at Fresh Park Venlo with 1,200 square meters.
Director Ralph Coenen is delighted with the new location, "We refurbished the whole property and gave it a contemporary look to distinguish ourselves. At Fresh Park Venlo we are right in the middle of the logistics hot spot, but unlike many of our neighbors we are are not focusing on the cash and carry business. Our focus is on the larger volumes of herbs that are going to wholesale and retail, where we have the entire chain in our hands, from cultivation to delivery to the end customer. Vitacress Real grows fresh herbs in the Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal and Kenya. When it's possible we grow ourselves, otherwise we work together with established partners. This is how we ensure that we have consistent quality throughout the entire year."
Vitacress Real, who is part of the Fossa Eugenia growers association, grows a wide range of herbs, from freshly cut herbs to potted herbs. This company is one of the few that offer both, "Freshly cut herbs make up the largest share of our sales; chives, parsley, basil and mint are our most important products. Mint sales have exploded over the last few years, through its use in tea, cocktails and water," says Ralph.
According to Ralph, an important trend is to introduce the herbs conceptually, "For example, we introduced a fresh herb butter at Lidl. Consumers want to cook themselves, but they don't want it to take a lot of time. They can make their own herb butter in five minutes. This meets a need." Also watercress, the product that Vitacress began with, is becoming more and more popular in the Netherlands and Germany, "In England and Portugal watercress is already very well known. We are now taking steps to introduce it into other countries. In the countries that are not familiar with it, it is as if it's a new vegetable that can be added to your salad or to your soup."
For more information:
Ralph CoenenVitacress Real BV
M +31 6 51 711 504+31 6 51 711 email@example.com