Specialist wholesalers with Turkish or Arabic roots have always offered locally cultivated vegetable crops. These unusual products - such as mini cucumbers, courgettes and aubergines - are usually purchased via direct import or intermediary trade and sold in this country. A trader from Düsseldorf would now like to change this as quickly as possible in close cooperation with ambitious growers and has set itself the goal of producing the unique fruits and vegetables from the Middle East on German soil.
Vegetable cultivation in the Altmark
"Always on the lookout for potential contract growers"
The inventor and driving force behind this ambitious cultivation project is Mohamed Jatal, a native Syrian and recently owner of the Grüne Saison company based at the Düsseldorf wholesale market. He offers his customers a wide range of Arabic fruit and vegetable products. "I was looking for an alternative for direct imports from the Arab region. German vegetable products would not be an option for me at all, because they are completely different crops. Arab mini-cucumbers, for example, are much more aromatic and have a very strong smell compared to the German products."
So slowly but surely the idea was born to import the necessary seeds here and to grow the varieties here in this country. "Of course, I'm a trader first and foremost, not a grower. So I was looking for potential contract growers who really know about the crops and could cultivate them for me."
Market gardener Said Al Marzuqi
"Great potential for organic products in Turkish and Arabic specialist trade"
Said Al Marzuqi is a passionate grower in Klötzke, in the Altmark region, and together with regional partners, has about 300 hectares of vegetable gardening, both in the open and protected. "Four years ago, I started with only 0.5 ha. In the meantime, we offer numerous organic products, from field vegetables and potatoes to exotic special crops such as mini zucchini, physalis and okra. Especially organic vegetables are still new territory for many Turkish and Arabic shops. So I see a lot of potential," says the grower, who in addition to the company Grüne Saison also serves customers in Berlin and Bremen.
Although the seeds are sourced from Syngenta, they are pure Arabic crops, assures Al Marzuqi.
According to Al Marzuqi, mini courgettes in particular are rapidly gaining in importance in the German specialist trade. "We deliver fresh produce to the Grüne Saison company twice a week; a total of about three tons. That could be even more," says the expert, who also runs an import company called Allocamus UG. "We have our own contract cultivation in the Moroccan region of Agadir. From November onwards, we will also be supplying the Grüne Saison company with Arabic vegetable products from local cultivation. In this way, we want to ensure that these products are available all year round."
For more information:
Grüne Saison e.K. - Orientalische Obst & Gemüse
Großmarkt Düsseldorf - Blumenhalle
+49 1575 6400530
Allocamus Lebensmittelhandel UG
Said Al Marzuqi
+49 1520 850 4051