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Dutch exporter discusses the start of the local greenhouse strawberry season

"Fandango is particularly popular in the German day trading market"

For the past two weeks, early Dutch greenhouse strawberry sales to Germany have gradually increased. "The cold, rainy weather means the season is off to a slow start with limited volumes for the open market. However, the somewhat restrained demand is fairly in balance with that supply. For now, we're primarily focusing on the Fandango and Sonsation varieties. But we're eagerly awaiting the full assortment, including Opera, Favori, Elsanta, and Malling Centenary. Those are now trickling into the market," Jeroen Hendrix, a Dutch exporter to Germany, explains.

This year's distribution has improved thanks to the early Inspire and Lady Emma varieties, which extend the Dutch greenhouse strawberry season by 10 to 12 weeks. "Especially in the early segment, greenhouse strawberries are a niche product, particularly popular at German weekly markets and greengrocers. As the season progresses, though, Dutch volumes increase while products from Spain and Italy decrease. Here, weather conditions are crucial."

According to Jeroen, Dutch greenhouse strawberries are slowly gaining ground over their Southern European counterparts in the German market. "Logistics and transport are, of course, a significant cost factor. The relatively short distances to the German market and the associated freshness guarantee give us an advantage over the Southern European growing countries. That crop has issues with ongoing heat and lack of water, too. In this respect, Dutch greenhouse strawberries should have a good starting point in the coming years as well," he says.

Fandango in demand, Elsanta maintains market position
In recent years, Jeroen's suppliers' total area has remained fairly stable, he reports. Hendrix sources his strawberries from a few local partners. Nevertheless, there are some developments at the variety level. "Fandango is particularly popular on the German day market, even though this variety is slightly pricier. But, an older Variety like Elsanta can still provide good results, yield and quality-wise, provided they're grown properly. Sonata, on the other hand, has lost substantial ground over the years."

Despite the Dutch market's love of Dutch greenhouse strawberries, Germany's greenhouse acreage is gradually increasing. "I believe that's a good thing; German consumers have a choice. The demand in Germany still considerably outstrips the local supply, making imports necessary. Plus, Dutch greenhouse strawberries are known for their high-quality standards. In that respect, the product has a good long-term competitive position," Jeroen concludes.

For more information:
Jeroen Hendrix
Hendrik Fruit & Vegetables
15 Sint Jansweg
5928 RC, Venlo, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0) 773 968 964
Mob.: +31 (0) 655 801 433
[email protected]

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