"It's easy to forget that we haven't even been in business for six months yet," says Freshclusive's Paul Schockman. On April 1st, he, his brother, Henri, and Robbert and Ruud Krul started this Dutch company that focuses on exporting fruit and vegetables overseas.
We've managed to get a tremendous amount going in a short time and have become an attractive party with which to work. We're doing much larger volumes than we thought we would."
Currently, loading is still done at a warehouse in Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands. And although an administration office was soon open at Schiphol-Rijk, further north, many of their warehouse co-workers travel to Eindhoven daily. "In these times where you can find work close by, our people make a roughly 250km round-trip every day. That shows incredible commitment, for which we're very grateful."
"Fortunately, early next year, that will greatly improve. Quicker than we'd anticipated, we found a location for our new building in Aalsmeer [about 4km from Schiphol-Rijk]. That's not easy in that area because there's little power capacity available. There, project developer Tupla will build a fully refrigerated 4,500m2 warehouse with seven docks and 300m2 of office space for us. We hope to move in March 2023. Then the company office and warehouse will be reunited," Paul explains.
"You, naturally, have expectations as a new company, but, at the same time, you're dependent on suppliers, clients, and service providers. We got amazing support to make this happen. Think of things like going live with our ERP system, certifications, credit insurance, and, of course, awarding trade. We're now BRC (at the highest level) and SKAL certified. And, we're growing rapidly. With recently hired new employees, our team is already more than 30 strong."
"Greenhouse vegetables, particularly bell peppers and tomatoes, are our largest product group," Paul continues, "but we offer an extensive range including fruit, exotics, open field produce, and citrus, both organic and conventional. This finely tuned distribution is exactly what attracts customers to us; sometimes that involves only a few boxes of edible flowers, carambola, and herbs at once."
"More than half our exports are focused on the Middle East. About 25% goes to Asia and the Far East, with the remaining 15% going to North America, Africa, and a bit of Europe. We have buyers all over the world. The current exchange rate obviously helps us export to dollar countries. We'll be visiting Fruit Attraction and the PMA Fresh Summit next month," Paul concludes.