“It is true these days that even if you grow food products like us, you have to be on the right side of the coin,” says Leonard Boer of lettuce grower FromBoer (formerly Boer den Hoedt). Eighty percent of the company's sales are down due to the corona crisis. "It was less during last week, but with the closing of more and more borders and the disappearance of the catering industry, it has completely collapsed."
Photo: Twitter FromBoer
FromBoer supplies a lot to catering wholesalers and exports to Scandinavia and the Middle East. The catering industry is closed in more and more countries and logistics to those countries is also in a pinch. “Closing the catering industry overnight will affect growers who sell it directly,” explains Leonard. The company also supplies retail, but that's only a fifth of total production.
At the moment people are looking for alternative sales channels. “We can deliver where lettuce is needed. You can already see that the numbers we have are only manageable for a limited number of parties, so we unfortunately see beautiful, healthy products spoiling and having to throw them in the container.”
Looking for sales alternatives
In the meantime, consideration is being given to switching to lettuces that are of interest to the retail market. “But then you have a switch time of about eight to ten weeks, so it is not easy. We continue to follow the developments and taking it day by day. Perhaps a cutting plant, which supplies indirectly to retail, now wants to switch imported products for our product?”, Leonard concludes.
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