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"Growth opportunities for dried herbs in countries where wealth increases"

Chips, meal packages, supplements and pills. Big chance these contain dried herbs by the United Dutch Herb Driers (VNK). In the town of Biddinghuizen, medicinal and aromatic herbs are dried and preserved for the pharmaceutical and food industries.



The organisation, established in 1951 to strengthen the position of herb driers, works with contracted suppliers delivering all kinds of herbs to the cooperation. The Dutch acreage is 400 to 500 hectares. As Bauke van der Veen of VNK explains, the organisation works with two seasons. 



“From June to October, the kitchen varieties are grown, and then the root herbs. We also import herbs. June is usually busier than the rest of the season. At the start, all the machines have to be checked and adjusted,” he says. “The herbs arrive fresh, are dried and preserved by us, which gives them a shelf life of about two years. After that, the herbs are still edible, but they slowly lose their flavour, aroma and colour. The herbs go to various customers for further processing. You can think of Verstegen and Silvo, known for the small spice jars, but also to intermediaries, where the herbs are processed into additives. For chips, sauces and meal mixes such as Knorr's World Cuisine."



The international market plays an important role. The dried herbs find their way to all parts of the globe. Bauke explains that the European market is almost saturated, but there are still plenty of opportunities elsewhere. "Especially in prosperous countries, the market is rapidly expanding. Think of developing markets like South America, Asia and India. This is a positive development for us."


bvanderveen@vnk-herbs.nl


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