Paul van Groningen feels like a fish in water working for Green Food Iberica

“Spanish sourcing office with Northwest European mentality”

After years of working in Dutch fresh produce, for companies such as Banken and SousFresh, Paul van Groningen moved to the Costa Brava to work for Green Food Iberica on 1 April of this year. The Spanish company takes care of sourcing the Spanish range for the Scandinavian parent organisation, and they also do the purchasing for other buyers in Northwestern Europe.

“I wasn’t really tied to the Netherlands, and when this chance came along, I had a look and was immediately enthusiastic,” Paul says. “The function wasn’t new for me. I also sold vegetables in the Netherlands, except I sold Dutch vegetables then, while I now sell Spanish ones. Unique about our company is that we sell everything Spain has to offer in fruit and vegetables, both conventional and organic product. We don’t have our own production, but we do have many growers who work for us, and who pack exclusively for our Daily Greens brand.”

Paul, fifth from left, and his colleagues from Green Food Iberica.

Green Food Iberica is part of the Scandinavian Green Food Group, and was founded some years ago as Spanish sourcing office of the group. Scandinavian, British, German and Dutch customers, both retailers, cutting plants and wholesalers, have now joined them to have their sourcing taken care of by the Spanish office. “Our methods suit our customers. We have 17 enthusiastic people working here, from six different nationalities. The language spoken in the office is English. We’re a Spanish company, but with a Northwest European mentality. We don’t have siestas and we start early in the morning. We don’t waste time and can quickly respond to customers’ questions. When a customer is looking for a product, we’ll find it.”

“We offer the entire range from all over the country, and that sets us apart from companies who operate from a certain product specialism,” Paul says. “Because we take care of sourcing for our sister companies, we also have the entire Spanish range available for other companies. We don’t have stocks, we deliver to customer order. The products are sent to the customer directly from the field or packing station. The orders vary from one pallet to full lorries.”

Salad bar concept
“We’re currently very much in melons and stone fruit, but due to scarcity in the Netherlands, we also supply Spanish cucumbers, for example. Besides, the Spanish grape season is about to start, and we’ll start focusing on lettuce varieties again. For instance, romaine lettuce is a big item for us. We deliver to cutting plants a lot. Just Green Food Group alone includes two cutting plants and a salad bar concept. We take care of the entire Spanish range for that. In autumn, we’ll start the entire Almeria range again.”

Paul also enjoys the Spanish life. “The company is located in Mont-ras, a village near Palamos, on the Costa Brava between the French border and Barcelona. It’s wonderful to work and live here. The people are very friendly. I’ve now started to learn Spanish. I don’t have any concrete plans, but I don’t want to leave here at all. Friends and former colleagues also know how to find me here. Via Girona and Barcelona Airport, the trip is easily accomplished for a weekend away.”

For more information:
Paul van Groningen
GreenFood Iberica
33-35 I 17253 Mont-ras (Girona)

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