Buy that ketchup. That's what Dutch Kwekerij De Westerschelde says. It's not just any ketchup, but Polder ketchup made by De Ketchupfabriek.
Now that the pepper season has started again, the Zeeland ketchup makers can put the second-class peppers from growers in Westdorpe to good use. They also use second-class tomatoes from Van Adrichem Nurseries and red onions from grading company D'Hont.
The ketchup makers have been working with the pepper growers for three years. "If we go back into production, they will be the first to ring the bell again," says grower Piet Reedijk. Three years back, it was the ketchup makers themselves who asked the growers if they could source second-class peppers from them. "The Polder ketchup is their idea."
Kwekerij De Westerschelde has now been in production for about four weeks. "We grow on eight hectares, so then you quickly have some kilos of class two. The Ketchupfabriek is using this product in a creative way." The pepper growers like that. "Moreover, in this way, we help colleagues from the region a little further. It is a Zeeland product from under the Zeeland sun."
Polder ketchup is a seasonal product. Without cultivation, no second-class product and no ketchup either. "From now on, we can start filling the Ketchshop again little by little," share the ketchup makers from Graauw.
Since 2013, they have been authentically making various sauces from second-class tomatoes. "These are tomatoes that are not nice enough for the supermarket but fine for our ketchup and tomato sauce," the website says. "We cook on induction plates; we generate the electricity needed for that with our own solar panels."
Polder ketchup is for sale in several places in the Netherlands and also in Belgium. In addition, the ketchup makers go to festivals with a food truck to sell the ketchup, which grower Piet also knows. The growers themselves have tasted the ketchup, of course, but the bottles are not standard on the table in Westdorpe. "With a cheese sandwich, it doesn't really fit in there," he laughs.