Marco Romein handles sales for Spanish growers

"Our mixed pallets of Spanish specialties help us stand out on the market"

Marco Romein used to own the Dutch company Snijpunt, so he started getting vegetables from Spain back in 2001 to source fresh vegetables for processing in the winter. Over the years, he partnered with several Spanish growers. He imported the freshest possible product in an efficient chain by having the products packaged directly at the growers' locations.

After selling Snijpunt in 2021, a new opportunity soon presented itself to Marco. Grower, and Marco's good friend, Rafa Santiago, were looking for support to sell his specialty greenhouse vegetables. ''That seemed like a super fun challenge where I could combine my passion for doing business in Spain with supporting a young company," says Marco.

Orange and yellow Jalapeños

Virgin Nature is a new company that cultivates and sells a wide assortment of specialty crops like Habanero peppers, Jalapeños, yellow cherry, and Monterossa tomatoes. "I love selling these distinctive products. We, of course, also do bell peppers, but that trade holds a little surprise for me after all these years. Now I'm learning every day, which is nice."

"These specialties help us stand out well on the market. This grower harvests to order and packs in the greenhouse, so customers are guaranteed a fresh product with minimal chain costs. What's truly distinctive is that we provide mixed pallets, something quite unique for Spain," Marco continues. Sales go directly from Spain, mainly to clients in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. "For service purposes, we keep a small stock in the Netherlands."

Habanero peppers

Marco's customer base consists mostly of wholesalers who, in turn, serve primarily overseas and ethnic buyers. "Those are important customers, but who also prefer fresh products," he admits. That is not to say this season was without its challenges. "At the beginning of the season, the kilo price in Spain was higher than elsewhere in Europe. Now the Dutch products are off the market, so that's doing an about-turn."

Romein hopes to expand Spanish growers' sales further in the years to come. "Relationships are vital in Spain, and having these, my network, which I built over the past 20 years, now benefits me. I don't want to become as big as possible; I want growers to get fair prices and get their products sold in the stores as well as possible," he concludes.

For more information:
Marco Romein
Virgin Nature

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