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“Traditional market approach untenable in the long term”
The market access of Dutch bell peppers in China is clearly seen at the Asia Fruit Logistica. Multiple exporters show bell peppers under the Dutch Valley brand to the Chinese audience. In June and July, the first sample shipments reached Chinese retail through distributors Global Green Team, Levarht, The Greenery and Staay Food Group. Commercial orders have been placed for some weeks now. “We knew it would take time, and have not set ourselves any quantitative goals for this season,” says Matthijs Jasperse from FVO China BV.
This company is focused on selling all bell peppers certified for China. The most important elements in this are a close cooperation (between growers and a select group of exporters), developing a distinctive brand, and a combined approach in distribution and marketing. “All parties are very satisfied with this combined marketing and export strategy,” Matthijs says. “With this central approach, we choose for long-tern development, we prevent proliferation, and create calm in the supply chain. The distributors provide the permanent retail customers they work with, and when potentials (retailers) announce themselves, we start export based on substantiated plans. Everything is about focus.”
Matthijs Jasperse with, naturally, the Dutch bell peppers at the Asia Fruit Logistica.
Focus on quality
“It might sound like a cliché, but all emphasis in the export of bell peppers to China is on quality. The Chinese high-tech vegetable cultivation is on the rise as well, mostly stimulated by Dutch knowledge. That’s why the Chinese will continue to see the added value of Dutch import products,” Matthijs emphasises. “Moreover, the Chinese retailer doesn’t just expect us to supply a product, but also a custom-made sales concept that persuades him to make his valuable square metres available for the Dutch (sweet) bell peppers. With our brand Dutch Valley, we focus on Chinese consumers, who are willing to pay more for imported products of high quality with an exceptional level regarding freshness and safety. Our focus is on the middle class, strongly represented in the first tier cities, of consumers with an income between 60,000 and 116,000 dollar who want to try new things.”
The Netherlands supplies a complete range of orange, yellow, red and green bell peppers, the Enjoya pepper (called ‘striped pepper’ in China), and the sweet pointed pepper and snack bell pepper in three colours. “There’s no other party in China supplying such a broad range. Responses of retailers we work with are very good. The market potential is enormous, but we mustn’t forget that bell pepper is still a by-product in China. For example, they’re not really familiar yet with consuming bell pepper raw as a snack or in salad. We therefore still have a long way to go, but we are hopeful. And I’m very proud of how we managed to do it together. It can be seen here at the fair, where present distributors all promote the Dutch Valley brand. For this manner of working, a different way of thinking was necessary. The parties working on this, have enormous will power to make this happen. That energises us to also work hard!”
For more information:
Mob: +31 (0)6 224 338 99
Publication date: 9/7/2017
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