"Cucumber growers too little concerned with marketing"

Dutch cucumber growers can learn from developments in countries like America and Canada. To do so they need to take steps in areas such as marketing and production. This emerged during the conference ‘Cucumbers of the Future’ in Maarssen. The Conference of Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds drew about 50 cucumber growers.

How could Dutch cucumber growers strengthen their position on the international market? This was the leading question during the conference ‘Cucumbers of the Future’. A number of speakers went into various aspects of the position of the cucumber cultivation. A good initiative, according to cucumber grower Jac Dings from Elsendorp, one of the conference participants. "The meeting was successful."

Growers in the workshop, "Who is the Apple under the cucumbers?" facilitated by Roel van Summeren, Project Manager Strategy & Innovation at Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds.

Product innovation and distinctiveness
Arne van Aalst, director of Prominent growers, was one of the speakers. He explained how the tomato growers managed to work on their leading market position on the tomato market, due to product innovation and good mutual agreements.

The presentation of Henk van Dongen, specialist on retail chains at Fresh Retail, targeted how growers can work on their relationship with retailers. According to Van Dongen it is all about positioning and distinctiveness. Growers must ask themselves the question: ”what am I really good at?”

Cultivation is top sport
Rens Knieriem of Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds talked about international developments in the area of cultivation and marketing and opportunities for Dutch growers, including markets such as the US and Canada. He compared the cultivation of cucumbers with sport: "You have to give everything, every day to lead at an international and local level."

According to Knieriem, Dutch cucumber growers can work on their relationships with retail, marketing, product diversification and quality improvement. On these points precisely, in recent years a number of Spanish companies have caught up with the Dutch. "In the last few years, great strides have been made, including in the field of scaling-up and market-oriented production."

The high-wire cucumber cultivation cropping system for growers of the future, contributes to solving the problems, according to Knieriem. The main question is value creation in the cucumber chain by scaling-up, improved reliability and quality.

Good or bad
The conference concluded with a workshop titled "Who becomes the Apple under the cucumbers?" facilitated by Roel van Summeren, Project Manager Strategy & Innovation at Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds. Groups of farmers worked on questions such as "Who is your customer over 10 years?, What needs does he have? And how can you, as a grower, use the capabilities of marketing, data, IT and robotics?"

Jac Dings listened carefully throughout the whole day, especially on the topic of marketing. He says, "Cucumber growers are primarily engaged in growing, there is still not enough being done about marketing in my opinion, but as an individual you achieve nothing. That's why it would be good if a group of like-minded growers picks up the marketing for cucumbers together." 
For more information:
Cees Ammerlaan, Sales Specialist Komkommer
Mobiel: 06 150 049 7906 150 049 79, E-mail: cees.ammerlaan@bayer.com
Paul Posthoorn, Sales Specialist Komkommer
Mobiel: 06 546 687 6106 546 687 61, E-mail: paul.posthoorn@bayer.com
Brenda van Diejen, Sales Specialist Komkommer
E-mail: brenda.vandiejen@bayer.com

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