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Rob Baan

Is money still to be made from fresh produce?

Is there still money to be made in Fresh Produce? Looking at the expanding number of foreclosures in the sector, it seems doubtful. The sheer amount of companies declaring bankruptcy is daunting, and reminiscent of the EHEC-crisis a few years back. 

In many ways, the western world is ill. Not because of communicable diseases such as cholera, smallpox, diphtheria etc., but because of diseases that seem typical of Western lifestyle, disorders related to behaviour, environment and nutrition. These are the non-communicable ailments, like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. Heredity notwithstanding, smoking and the overuse of fat and cholesterol cause many of today’s afflictions, while virtually all scientists agree that fresh fruit and vegetables can prevent diseases. 

Adding fresh produce to our daily diet, with perhaps a bit of organic meat on the side, would go a long way in improving both health and environment. And people are starting to take notice. Conscious consumers and patient interest groups are miles ahead compared to the government, nutrition centres, doctors and businesses in realizing that fresh produce is of vital importance. 

Dutch agriculture has the edge when it comes to these developments. Not only can fresh produce professionals, such as cultivation experts, producers and retailers, advise both lawmakers and consumers on how to grow, distribute, prepare and spice up our greens, they also know how to cultivate sustainably, strive for quality and build the logistics to make it all happen. 

Among those taking on the challenge is Frugi Venta. With specific studies and a dynamic policy, the importance of good food is being put on people’s agendas. Physicians, insurers, NGOs and other stakeholders describe why fruits and vegetables are so important. So yes, there is still money to be made in the fruit and vegetable sector. But the entire chain should realize its full potential and focus on the fact that we, and nobody else, are responsible for providing health food.

Publication date: 5/9/2014


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