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"Maarten Smit: "Seeking greenhouse growers to assure product availability"

Netherlands: Kraaijeveld expands export markets with overseas team

In the past Kraaijeveld was a European exporter 'par excellence'. This year things have changed with the commissioning of the former Greenery building in Maasland, the Netherlands. Under the leadership of Maarten Smit, overseas destinations like the Middle East, Far East and the U.S. will be import countries for their fruits and vegetables, "The biggest challenge will be to play a role in the cross trade as well so the suppliers and overseas buyers can connect directly without us having to oversee everything."

"Kraaijeveld has a clear vision for growth: we want to play a role in the worldwide fruit and vegetable trade. I have the necessary experience in overseas export and was ready for a new challenge, so the timing was perfect. I started when this building was built during my Disselkoen period and I returned when Kraaijeveld remodelled. So that was special. The facilities are great and ideally suited to getting mixed loads ready for worldwide shipment," says Maarten. "To ensure product availability we are looking particularly for growers with greenhouses."

Nick Leeuwis and Maarten Smit

"Right now the overseas export is still in its infancy, but the goal is to work with a number of reliable customers per overseas destination. We are not looking for the largest volumes, what is important to us is providing high quality work that adds value," continues Maarten. "In the so called 'cross trade' in production areas in Spain and Africa we would like to play a role. Kraaijeveld is well known in the market for their payment security and suppliers appreciate that. We can use our network of customers to guarantee their sales."

Nick Leeuwis is helping Maarten with the overseas team, the goal is to increase activities in the coming years, "We know we are not the only ones doing this but that gives us a nice challenge. We supply to importers and directly to supermarkets as well. There is definitely enough potential. In a market like Dubai there is so much growth, the population is expected to double by 2020. The ideal scenario is to direct the chain from producer to supermarket."

The exporter is keeping an eye on developments in Asia, but actual export to this region is not yet on the agenda, "In many overseas destinations local cultivation is becoming increasingly important, but that does not have to be only a threat to us, it can also be a challenge we can work with. For now it is just a dream for us to be able to play a role here. Our main priority is to stay focused right now. If you don't put all your effort into it, nothing will go well. After all, we are only ten months in," concludes Maarten

For more information:
Maarten Smit
Tel: 010-7504341
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