'All about potatoes' is the Quik's Quality Potatoes motto. The company, based in Hedel, the Netherlands, can rightfully make this claim. They have been active in the potato market for more than 85 years. Through these years, they have grown into an important player on the potato market. They trade in fresh potatoes (Quik's Fresh Potatoes) and chilled potato products and specialities (Quik's Potato Products). The recently completed new building was an excuse to invite business associates for a get-together. On Thursday, 12 April, many people in the potato world made use of this opportunity.
"From unpeeled pre-packaged potatoes to chilled, processed potato products. We have a range here for every sector of the market. This is thanks to the approval of you, as clients or suppliers", said Gerrit Oomen, Director at Quik's Fresh Potatoes, during his opening speech. "The potato has been an important part of the meal for centuries. The consumption of fresh potatoes has been slowly decreasing in recent years. We, however, remain positive about potatoes. We still see ample opportunities to surprise consumers. These opportunities include eating potatoes at other times besides main meal times."
Peter Quik senior, Gerrit Oomen, Peter Quik junior, Jurriaan Oudejans and Andries Quik
Gerrit understands how vital it is to invest in quality. "We have to deal with extreme weather influences. The rising temperatures are also threatening the storage life of potatoes in the Netherlands. We, along with our growers, have overcome this. We have invested in crate storage and ultra-modern cooling and warming cells. I am convinced of one thing - quality is rewarded, particularly in the long term. It is not about volumes. Try to distinguish yourself. Then you are on the right track."
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Mayor of Maasdriel, Heny van Kooten, pointed out Quik's importance to the region's economy. This company has 100 fulltime employees. He indicated that the construction of the new building at the edge of the town - a simple solution to a difficult situation - would not have been possible without Andries Quik's quiet diplomacy.
Peter Quik is the current director of Quik's Potato Products. He led attendees through a history of the potato company. It was started in 1932 by Hendrik Quik. He used to peddle potatoes in nearby Den Bosch. After some time, his sons, Andries and Peter Quik took over the business. This made H. Quik and Sons C.C. a reality. Andries does the commerce side of things and has the final say. Peter focuses on the technical side of the business. The company expanded steadily. At the end of the 70s, it moved to its current location. The people responsible for the new building were also called forward by Peter. They got a large bunch of flowers and a photo of the building.
Three guests then said a piece. They were introduced by the chairman as 'a German, a Belgian and a Dutchman'. First up was Ferdinand Buffen, Director at the German potato trading company, Wilhelm Weuthen GmbH. He used one word to describe their company's relationship with Quik's: "Continuing!" Weuthen is the largest player on the European potato market. It has 1 500 contract growers in all the important European cultivation areas. "We mainly work together with Quik's for the Agria variety. This variety is not easy to grow. We, therefore, seek out the best growers who cultivate in heavy clay soil."
Ferdinand Buffen (Weuthen), Sven van de Voorde (Delhaize) and Sil Lammers ('t Pakhuis)
Sven van de Voorde, Fresh fruit and vegetables Category Manager at Delhaize represented Belgium. He is also aware of the decreasing consumption of unprocessed potatoes. "Consumers want to be surprised. They do not want to be limited by choice. Quik's understands this and responds in innovative ways." Sil Lammers of Cafeteria and Restaurant 't Pakhuis in Amsterdam, also proves to be a satisfied customer. "I was planning on making my own chips. I was then introduced to the Quik's products. I am entirely satisfied with their products. I want my customers to be able to experience the taste of fresh potatoes."
The third member of the board is Jurriaan Oudejans. He is director of Quik's Research & Development. He explained the company's quality policy. This R&D department also busies itself with the development of new products and concepts. During the tour, visitors got a peek at how these products come to be. This was followed by a taste-testing with potato dishes made in the new inspiration kitchen.
Quik's was open for residents and invited guests, and their families, on Saturday, 14 April, from 10:00 to 15:00.