A group of Moroccan tomato and pepper growers are currently looking for Dutch customers. They can fill the gap created now that it is becoming clear that exposed tomato cultivation in north-western Europe is going to be much lower. Pepper growers also see opportunities.

If there is one aspect of growing in Morocco that is now very attractive, it is the free presence of the sun. It makes growers, all from the region around Agadir where much cultivation takes place, much less affected by the current energy crisis.

The group of tomato growers comprises a total of six growers, accounting for 36.5 hectares, shares Mohamed Achare, project manager at Global Business Development SARL. The growers are poised to grow tomatoes for Dutch customers. "The young tomato plants are already in their greenhouses," he says. The growers grow plain, round tomatoes. "They can grow other tomatoes if the customer wants."

21 of the 36.5 hectares are currently GlobalGAP-certified. For the rest of the acreage, the growers are in the process of getting certified as well. Cultivation at the growers' premises has already started. However, 4.5 hectares are still empty. "It is possible to grow other varieties at the request of customers, especially for next year. For this winter, they are going to try. In the greenhouses, they can also grow peppers and beans." Two pepper growers, accounting for 8 hectares, are also looking to sell in the Netherlands.

The tomato growers have an external packing station that is BRC-certified. Some growers also have SMITA certification themselves. "At the external packing station, Takad Agri, the growers can provide most of the standard packaging. For exports, many boxes for packing 5 kilograms are used. If customers have their own specific boxes, that can be arranged."

The growers have never worked with a European buyer, but they have already sold and exported produce to Europe through an exporter. Transport takes between four and five days.

For more information
Mohamed Achare
Global Business Development SARL