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René Noordam: “Single box pineapple is popular”

Dutch start export to Europe with Dominican fruit growers

Three years ago, René Noordam started importing pineapples from Costa Rica in cooperation with De Jong Fruit Leerbroek. Because suppliers weren’t sending the desired quality, the Dutch men switched to the Dominican Republic. After these first shipments were also a bit disappointing, the fruit traders visited the country and saw its potential. Dominican Gold Fruit has now been started in cooperation with local fruit specialist Edmundo Guzman.

“We quickly realised the Dominican Republic has a great potential for the production of fruit. The country produces truly great quality fruit, but much product is lost in storage due to mistakes regarding cooling and packing,” René says. “We came into contact with a Dominican pineapple grower, and joined his production project. We now have a high-quality pineapple available for the European market. The Dominican Republic has advantages. For example, transit time is four days shorter than from Costa Rica, and plenty of fruit is available.”

To be distinctive on the market, Dominican Gold Fruit introduced a single box to give the pineapple the right presentation during the fair in Berlin. “This was very well-received, and this way, we can make a name for ourselves on the market right away, both with supermarkets and with wholesalers. Various retailers have already agreed to come to us once we have year-round supply of constant quality. That is our biggest challenge now,” René says.

The pineapple adventure has now made the men ready for more. “We see major opportunities to help growers with no export experience market their product. The country is eager to get export started, and because of that, we receive much support from growers’ and export organisations. There are plenty of opportunities for products such as mangoes, avocados, ginger and bananas. That’s why we’re now in talks with the growers. Every two months I personally go to the Dominican Republic to make sure production is going well.”

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