The Moroccan season has cautiously begun at EFP International in the Netherlands. "The prospects look promising. The Dutch lit crop is considerably lower; everywhere that needs to be heated is at a standstill. That should provide opportunities for the Moroccan season," Ruud Zwinkels says.
"Dutch tomato, bell pepper, and cucumber prices are at unprecedented highs. That bodes well for the Maroc season. For example, 10x500 grams of vine cherry tomatoes sell at around €14. But that selling prices shouldn't blind people - transport, pallets, and packaging costs have also risen sharply."
His colleague, Danitsja Mulder, is confident of the Moroccan tomatoes' availability. "EFP has relationships with growers in Morocco going back 12 years. Supporting each other in good and bad times means we can also guarantee this season's supply continuity. So, we expect a good year regarding quality and supply stability. The Moroccan tomato season usually runs from October to May."
"Still, all the uncertainty makes it a tense season, but everyone faces that. Consumers can't simply pay a few more euros while their fuel and energy bills also increase. Hopefully, a vacuum won't develop between the cost and selling prices. People will probably keep eating fruits and vegetables, but due to inflation, they may, say, eat out a little less often," Danitsja explains.
EFP's Moroccan tomato range consists of loose, (vine)cherry, and cherry plum tomatoes, loose and packaged. "EFP has built a good reputation with these tomatoes over the years. All the countries we serve order Moroccan tomatoes from us in the winter," Ruud says. Moroccan tomatoes are increasingly gaining a market share. "About ten years ago, Spain was still at a lonely height in the tomato world; now Morocco has become a serious player."
EFP gets its tomatoes from Morocco in two ways: with full trucks straight from there to the Netherlands or with a stopover in Perpignan, France. "We have inspectors there who check the goods, and as soon as the tomatoes are approved, they get an EFP sticker. That lets us sell a day ahead in the Netherlands, which our buyers find greatly beneficial," Ruud concludes.
For more information:
Danitsja Mulder / Ruud Zwinkels
451 ABC Westland
2685 DE, Poeldijk, NL