Competition in horticulture is fierce. Whereas before lowering your cost price was key, the focus has shifted to adding value in the last couple of years. "Finding a niche", is something growers were urged to do often, as well as staying away from bulk. The team from the Dutch growers organisation, Prominent, shows that being unique can also mean having a unique position in the market, something that can also be achieved with bulk products.
29 Dutch tomato growers
Prominent is a brand of the Grower Cooperative DOOR. The 29 Dutch tomato growers being a member of the cooperative, offer a wide range of tomatoes to customers - including bulk as well as exclusive products. "Both options offer advantages, like an extensive market through bulk supply or a leading position through unique products. What if we combine both options? So, we can offer exceptional products in bulk to reach a larger audience? Then, we have created a win-win situation!" they say.
"Reaching more consumers"
Sometimes, the word ‘bulk’ has a slightly negative connotation. Bulk is seen as uninspiring, of mediocre quality and cheap. Prominent thinks differently, as more volume also means an extensive reach, and this creates opportunities.
"When developing our products, we keep our eye on the consumer. With the opinion of our taste panel in the back of their minds, our growers keep creating new products. But why make these products with unique characteristics exclusively available to a small target group, when the whole of Europe can enjoy our tasty vine tomatoes?"
Strategic supply chain
By promoting co-operations within Dutch fresh produce supply chains, the company says to take giant leaps. "Sharing knowledge and experience can boost the production and supply of extraordinary products."
Referring to the article ‘Strategic Co-operations in Fresh Produce Supply Chains’, published in April 2019 by EFMI Business School, stating:
In the future, the amount of fresh produce supply chains focused on concepts with added value for the consumer will increase. This will partly take place within strategic supply chain co-operations. Trust is crucial within strategic supply chain co-operations. Elements such as innovative concepts that set you apart and insight in consumer needs are also important.
Strategic chain co-operations can boost innovation and optimise supply chains. Important advantages of strategic supply chain co-operations are:
- Competences of individual supply chain partners are complemented
- Individual specialisms are linked
- Synchronisation takes place throughout the supply chain
- Predictability and pace of the supply chain are increased
"Why not join forces at an earlier stage and introduce exceptional products based on shared input?" the team with Prominent responds. "More knowledge, more means, more volume, more risk spreading and more marketing lead to more exposure and eventually to more profit and more growth potential in the market."