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Berrybrothers expand berry rangeThe redcurrant season is over, and at most growers, everything is standing in cold rooms. The Dutch grower, Berrybrothers, is satisfied with the quality. Unfortunately, there was countrywide frost damage in the springtime.
Gerco van Zuilen: "There is always something when it comes to farming. No two years are the same. This makes it challenging."
Gerco and Nijs van Zuilen
"Our goal is to deliver redcurrants year round. Since we have a farm in Portugal, we can offer redcurrants early in the year. In the Netherlands, we start harvesting greenhouse-grown Junifers from the end of May already. We sell these almost immediately. In July and August, we harvest Rovada, grown under rain shelters, and we store these in the ULO cells. We can store Rovadas for eight months, so we can offer these until April. It is crucial to monitor the storage process in order to guarantee quality. At the moment, we have 100 hectare in use for the cultivation of soft fruit. The redcurrants take up most of the area", say the brothers.
Besides harvesting, Berrybrothers package all kinds of fruit, as specified by the customer. Linssen: "We have begun to extend our building. We expect to harvest more fruit in the coming years. In order to process these production streams, we were forced to expand. A large area is also being used for storing barrels. The building needs to be complete by the beginning of June, so we can be ready for the summer season."
The brothers feel that, as berry specialists, they need to be able to offer the whole berry package during the Dutch season. The berry package is traditionally seen as: redcurrants, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. In order to be innovative in the market, the Berrybrothers have begun planting white currants. These berries are almost transparent, with a sweet taste. "We are in the orientation phase regarding blackcurrants. It is still difficult to choose a variety." Nijs adds: "Since we grow the entire range, and package everything ourselves, we can offer our clients continuity and variety. This means we can say with pride that we are the berry specialists."
Publication date: 11/10/2017
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