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John Breedveld:

"Gulf states growing market for high value fruit and vegetables"

John Breedveld has been working to bring the Gulf region to the attention of the Dutch fruit and vegetable trade for a number of years now. "There is a huge demand for qualitatively high value products there." This demand has been there for a while. The Russian boycott is just accelerating it. A trade mission is planned for next month, with which minister Kamp will be travelling, among others. John expects the markets in the Gulf region to open further over a relatively short term.

John Breedveld has many contacts in the Gulf region from his time as an IT entrepreneur. "I did a lot of business there, but those business relations grew to become friendships. When I'm in Dubai I'm always invited to gatherings of friends, where you are introduced to new people." These contacts knew that John Breedveld was from Barendrecht and that Barendrecht is Europe's fruit and vegetable port. "I have a large network in the region, but I'm missing a fruit and vegetable company who wants to partake."

John Breedveld sees a lot of opportunities for Dutch fruit and vegetable companies in the Gulf states

High spending level
The demand for qualitatively high value fruit and vegetables is high in the Gulf region, knows John Breedveld. "I have been hearing that there is a lot of demand for years, but the interest among the Dutch trade was low. And it's logical. If you can sell the products in the East, why look any further?" Now that Russia has a wide scale of products, John can see the Gulf states getting more attention.

At the start of September the Ministry of Economics is organising a trade mission to the Gulf states. A visit to Riyad, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is planned for the 7th of September. Three days later, on the 10th of September, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be visited. There are also plans to visit Muscat, Oman during this trip. "The demand there is growing too. I see a lot of possibilities in the entire Gulf region: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain as countries with a high spending level and a growing demand for quality products." 

American and European products
A supermarket in Saudi Arabia is only counted as a supermarket if there are products from Europe and the United States sold there, explains John. American products can already be found on a lot of shelves, but there is much to gain for European countries. "The transport is often through Dubai and there are a lot of transport costs, but the Saudi's want a very high value product and they are prepared to pay well for it." The target group for the European products are not just the expats, the upper layer of the local population are also certainly interested in the products. "Expats are often more price concious than the Emirati."

Supplying quality
"The Russian boycott is not the cause of this growing demand," emphasises John. "There is a large demand for quality products in the Gulf region. This means that we have to supply quality and invest in the relationship and not just want to supply because Russia closed its borders."

John is still looking for parties who are interested in trading with the Gulf states. "it would be good if we could, for instance, offer 100 orange boxes of Dutch quality in Riyad and Dubai to promote the Netherlands. The demand for Western European products is high."

More information:
John Breedveld
T: 085-7500530

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