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Freddy Van Vreckhem, De Vulder Fruit:

"Belgium: "Warehouses are very much dominant"

Freddy Van Vreckhem of De Vulder Fruit has been on the wholesale market in Brussels, Mabru for years. The wholesaler is specialised in both Belgian and imported fruit. According to him he is one of the oldest stall holders on the market. "The market started in the middle of Brussels almost 100 years ago. Back then there wasn't nearly as much fruit as there is now. Nothing was imported. Since then the assortment has grown hugely. There is now fruit from almost every country."

Warehouses very much dominant
According to Freddy it isn't just the assortment that has changed. "The type of customers has also changed over the course of the years. There used to be a lot more small traders and at the moment the warehouses are very much dominant. They are causing the 'little ones' to disappear." Is it possible to keep going as a wholesaler against the increasing competition? "It's certainly becoming more difficult," says Van Vreckhem. "But I'm remaining active. Standing here working with customers is my passion. I don't expect to keep doing it for decades, but it's difficult to find a good person to take over."

He says it's no longer of this day and age to start so late at night. "Nowadays traders pick it up much later. A morning or day market would be better. It seems that more people prefer later opening times, so this may change in the near future."

For more information:
+32 (0)2 241 3169

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