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Alex van Ieperen, Direct Fruit Services BV:

"European retail growing well and first pears sent to Asian market"

In 2012 Alex van Ieperen started Direct Fruit Services. The company focused on European retailers who specialised in Dutch and Belgian top fruit. "Through specialising and the experience we have gained with Direct Fruit Services we have successfully grown in the retail world," explained Alex. The commercial team consists of Niels Krijnen and also Neville King, who operates from The United Kingdom.

Alex van Ieperen and Niels Krijnen

Market situation
"We have finished an extreme season with very high prices. Pear prices, however, have been disappointing. Apples have faired much better until now. The pear harvest was not great due to the sizes being smaller than expected, and there were also some very large Conference but with the smaller size the average price also fell. This difficult growing season also influenced the quality, but the taste of the fruit was really very good this year," said Alex.

Specialist on UK market
"We are seen as a specialist on the UK market. Thanks to the focus of British retailers on local produce we have expanded in this market because we appreciate the added value in catering to the client. Outside of the UK we are also active on the Scandinavian market and we also deliver throughout Europe. We have for the first time sent pears to the Asian market and they have been well received. In the future we intend to expand in all these markets and through this growth we will also expand our network of growers. Together, with our growers, we look for new markets and ways of marketing our product so it continues to hold value in the chain." 

"By using our knowledge of the chain we work together with retailers to supply them year round. This will become clearer in the coming months depending on how pears develop in the cool house," said Alex. "The packing station we work with use Biofresh, which gives different types of top fruit a longer shelf life for customers at warmer temperatures, thereby addressing the problem of food wastage in our industry. Also as important; by using Biofresh our customers can enjoy perfectly ripe fruit for longer. At the client's request, Direct Fruit Services can arrange for produce to be responsibly treated."

"In The Netherlands and Belgium by using the Direct Fruit Services lorry we have put a face to our name. The lorry is decorated with the Direct Fruit Services logo. We have received a lot of nice feedback from growers. Our website has also been updated so next to offering general information to our customers, Direct Fruit Services also offers customers, packing stations and growers the possibility to download relevant personal information. In the future we will also offer uploading possibilities," said Alex. Direct Fruit Services sees themselves as the most effective route from grower to end user. "Direct Fruit Services focus remains on addressing any questions in the chain from grower, retailer or consumer."

For more information:
Direct Fruit Services BV
Lichtschip 49
3991 CP Houten
Tel: +31(0)30-3031400
Fax: +31(0)30-3031399

Publication date: 4/4/2014


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