Twenty years ago, Kees Valstar started FruitWorld in the Netherlands. He wanted to sell soft fruit, which was a new thing at the time. Back then, Kess hired Piet Meerkerk as a salesman. Twenty years later, these traders' paths have crossed again. Kees has been selling hemp products for several years now. And from 1 January 2021, Piet will strengthen HMP Distribution's sales team. "It's come full circle," Piet says.
No more strawberries, berries, and raspberries for this experienced fruit trader. Now, Piet will sell milk, baking products, and oil. "I always found the step Kees took towards hemp products very interesting," he says. "I also see opportunities for the product's uses. When Kees called, I was immediately enthusiastic. These products' applications fit in perfectly with today's times. Now that vegan products are a hot item."
Dutch Harvest's hemp tea
"We have great products with great backstories for the retail sector. Growing hemp has a purifying function. It removes polluted water and heavy metals from the soil. Hemp also loosens the soil. And since it has a short cultivation time, crop rotation is perfectly possible. Hemp is CO2 negative, and the whole plant is used. We use the seeds. But the stem is used for car dashboards or in textiles. In other words, it's a genuinely circular product."
HMP Distribution has several production groups. Valstar, for example, has been producing and selling CBD oil with Healthy Plant Products for some time now. Tea is supplied under the name Dutch Harvest. It's made from hemp leaves and flowers. MGC Derma focuses on the high-quality cosmetics market. Amstergum quickly got the supply of hemp chewing gum going.
Good Hemp forms the company's fifth branch. This is a British brand that brings products like protein and baking products, milk, and oil onto the market. These are hemp-based. The brand is now well established in the UK. And HMP Distribution has the products' sales in Central and Northern Europe. So, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, and Scandinavia.
Piet is looking forward to meeting his new retail buyers in the new year. "These products aren't on fruit and vegetable buyers' plate. But I will, of course, use my network. Given the volumes that we can deliver and this market's development, I definitely want to have a few Good Hemp products on European store shelves by this time next year," Piet concludes.