Jean-Paul van Wijk has been active in the fresh fruit and vegetable trade sector for 42 years now. He now takes care of exclusively purchasing produce for a Russian firm on the European market.
"I have been working with this Russian company for 20 years now. We offer a fairly unique concept. We pay directly after the price negotiations and quality controls have been completed. Only then, the products are loaded", he says.
A 100% prepayment is far from the norm in these times, where payment terms are up to 60 days. However, this trader finds the enthusiasm to work together disappointing. "Dutch, but also overseas companies, lost unbelievably large amounts of money during the boycott", says Jean-Paul.
"They are now reluctant to send trade to Russia. That market, however, offers such enormous potential. We want to prove that the opposite is true. The consumption of fruit and vegetables is increasing sharply in Russia every year. With the correct cooling cells and ripening technology, the future is bright there for the right partner."
Jean-Paul works under the umbrella name of Obelix Holding & Management. For quality control, he partners with the Dutch company, Moes Quality Control. Purchasing is primarily focused on import fruit, such as grapes, citrus, avocados, and pomegranates.
"Last year we bought about 100 vehicles in for Europe. I am also setting up a pineapple project in Costa Rica. I am very confident about it. This is because it is one of the few countries where, given the sales volume, there are still expansion opportunities", he explains.
At the moment, Jean-Paul is especially busy with the importing of Moroccan citrus. "We have received approximately 45 containers of clementines. We are also expecting about another 60 containers of Nour and Afourer", Jean-Paul continues.
"Within a few years, I expect to have a volume of roughly 250-300 containers from Morocco. Last year, there were around 40-50% fewer exports from Morocco to Russia. So, there was a lot of pressure to sell these products elsewhere."
Jean-Paul enjoys this kinds of work immensely. "All trade to Russia is direct. I only have to have my phone with me. This ensures so much more free time. I also do not have to worry about administration."
"In the future, I would like to expand my activities. I want to do this with partnerships with overseas exporters who are looking for clients in the Netherlands/Europe or are wanting to export to Russia. I am ready for 2019, and I wish everyone the best for the new year", he concludes.
For more information:
Obelix Holding & Management
Jean-Paul van Wijk
Mob: +31 (0) 653 812 246