"The introduction of the SAP system did have a big impact. We - and our clients - really had to get to grips with the system. Now we've been working with it for 1.5 years, and are reaping the benefits. We notice we have much more control over the process. When we say a shipment is at the dock at 2 pm, clients know it's guaranteed to be there. Some clients now buy from us because they know for sure the product is there at the agreed time," Gerard says.
Nanne van Baar, Gerard van Loon and Léon Duijvesteijn
"The system has become less non-committal, but a certain degree of pragmatism is good. Of course many things have to be improved, but we're working hard on that. We now see exactly where the costs in the chain are, and we can manage on that," Nanne confirms. "And the growers now enter their prognosis, actual supply and transport into one system. And of course they would also like to see us save costs." In loading off-garden, The Greenery has also taken steps. "In addition to loading off-garden, we're auctioning off-garden as well now. With eggplants, that caused an increase from 7 to 50% of auction sales, and with bell peppers from 7 to 35%. Ten years ago, we thought we couldn't do without our warehouses. Now we only let shipments come to the DCs that need to be cross-docked. And it doesn't cost anything more to sell a full truck than just a pallet," Léon says.
Léon expects a light increase in greenhouse vegetables. For the mushrooms and open-field vegetables, Nanne expects a stable acreage in the coming year. In soft fruit, an increase is expected anyway, and in top fruit, they're working on retaining the current volume. A new trend is to combine the produce from smaller growers. "We've been doing this for years already with asparagus, but we've also taken to clustering with ten smaller top fruit growers from Zeeland, who will bundle the product at FPZ. That way, under direction of Daaf Bakker, we can combine the supplies into a big batch to service retail clients as well," Gerard says.
Many more acquisition talks