Two years ago, the Dutch company, The Greenery, decided to divide its activities. It split them into The Greenery Growers, The Greenery Logistics, and The Greenery International business units. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting The Greenery International's specialisms in a series of four articles. We start with Commercial Manager Pieter van Pelt. "Our clear focus means our customers receive the proper attention. That's paying off," he begins.
Pieter has held different sales and managerial roles at The Greenery for more than seven years. Within The Greenery International, Pieter leads the purchasing and commercial team. "The Greenery International was created on February 1 this year by merging several business units such as Hagé International and Retail."
"Our team comprises a mix of different types of people with years of experience and plenty of expertise. So, we speak both the client and supplier's language. That works great and ensures we can respond quickly to market opportunities," Pieter says.
The right contact person for each buyer
The Greenery International supplies a wide range of Dutch and imported products to retailers, wholesalers, exporters, the processing industry, and online clients in Europe.
"They also serve specific markets and customers. Separating the activities did change things for buyers. We used to have a single point of contact for our retail customers."
"That person was responsible for the entire package. We adapted that per client demand. Now, we have one operational contact for day-to-day coordination. Plus, product specialists have direct contact with the buyers. That ensures focus and short communication lines," Pieter explains.
Synergy and digitalization
"Hagé International used to focus primarily on trade and day trade customers, with their retail department exclusively serving retail clients. Merging these activities creates synergy, the possibility for better cooperation, and clear goals. We value all our buyers, and in this way, we can serve them even better."
"We're also committed to further digitalization to organize things smarter and better. That's why we launched our webshop last year. Our customers can now use this channel to order products 24/7. This further boosted our sales activities," Van Pelt continues.
Reliable specialist with the total package
"For our import products, we've been working with numerous suppliers for decades. Our buyers appreciate this continuity, and we'd like to supply a broader customer group. Our role has changed in this regard, though. Our suppliers are increasingly moving closer to the end clients. That, however, doesn't make our role any less important. Cost price increases and transport delays are the order of the day. So, service providers are only becoming more vital. Buyers need reliable suppliers more than ever."
The Greenery International is keen to offer a total package in this. "Traditionally, we're big in product groups like fruit vegetables, stone fruit, grapes, melons, and open field vegetables. We also have a strong share in products such as garlic, avocados, and, of course, kiwi. We've expanded our trade and wholesale customers' assortment and have a nice range available every day," continues Pieter.
The Greenery International serves so-called new players too. "New sales channels that offer meal boxes and online retail are important to The Greenery International." They like doing business with specialist companies that offer a wide range of products as well as a lot of knowledge and data. "This allows us to unburden our customers and help them grow."
"The global pandemic made the importance of having the correct suppliers and a broad client base evident. The Greenery has always held a strong position in the Dutch retail market," says the commercial manager. "But in recent years, our sales to trade brokers in Belgium and France have been growing strongly too."
"We have big plans: we want to serve the retail sector in all major sales countries, either directly or via partners. And we want to expand sales to the daily and wholesale markets. All to serve our mission of making fresh fruit and vegetables available to everyone every day," Pieter concludes.