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Robert van Ooijen, Van Ooijen Vegetables and Fruit:

"Lettuce varieties worth little this year, tomato prices fell last week"

It took a while for this year's strawberry supply to increase at the Belgian auctions, says Robert van Ooijen of Van Ooijen Groenten en Fruit. He makes daily morning purchases at BelOrta, REO, and Hoogstraten for his Dutch clients.

"Besides Sonata and Sonsation, more Elsanta is now entering the market. Last Tuesday, auction prices were around €2.75. Overall, not fantastic, but not bad either. They're starting to sell raspberries, too, but their supply is still very limited," Robert notes.

The fruit-vegetable season started a few weeks ago. "There are now decent quantities of eggplants, priced at about €0.75/kg. The zucchini supply is also increasing this week."

"We've been trading green bell peppers for a few weeks. More red and yellow ones are being added to the mix. They were expensive last week but are now trending downward. Yellow and red bell peppers are priced at roughly €1.60, while the green ones are still selling at above €2," Robert states.

"Cucumbers are less in demand this season. Last year, due to the gas crisis, Dutch growers were more careful about planting cucumbers, which increased demand. This year, they're much cheaper, even cheaper in the Netherlands than in Belgium. Lettuce varieties, too, are worth little this year. It seems plenty of lettuce was planted. Especially the darker types like lollo rosso and red oak leaf lettuce picked up slightly last week, but the rest isn't overly expensive, and there's quite a large supply."

"The tomato season started quite well but dipped last week," says Van Ooijen. "Beef tomato prices are just over a euro. The price for vine tomatoes is approximately €0.90, so there is nothing to write home about. The double Bs are now under a euro for the first time, so the same as the single Bs. Demand for specialties continues, but that trend has been ongoing for several years."

According to Robert, the number of Dutch buyers at the Belgian auctions is quite stable. "The Belgian cooperatives play a decisive role in the Western European market. All major trading houses glance at those auction prices in the mornings. Our strength is that we're on-site and can, with an extra quality check, ensure everything goes perfectly for our customers. Essentially, we're an extension of the Belgian cooperatives and, thus, meet many Dutch fruit and vegetable companies' needs," he concludes.

For more information:
Robert van Ooijen
Groenten en fruit import van Ooijen B.V.
Linnenstraat 3, 2988 XL
Ridderkerk, the Netherlands
Tel.: +32 (0) 15 56 55 31
Mob.: +31 (0) 651 545 998
Email: [email protected]

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