The family companies of Douven and Driessen have been growing blueberries on a large scale since 1985. Working together in the company abbGrowers, the blueberries are sorted, packed and sold. Leon Driessen, co-owner of Driessen Blueberries, explains the importance of having your own blueberry variety and how it all came about.
The company Fall Creek Driesvenplant works on increasing blueberry plants. “In the past, we had licences for a number of blueberry varieties, but we didn’t have our own seed improvement programme,” Leon Driessen says. “When we were taken over by the American Fall Creek company, which we had worked with for years, in 2018, we gained access to their seed improvement programme. A unique, own variety programme named Sekoya is now reserved only for abbGrowers in the Netherlands. The Sekoya programme consists of three varieties.”
“We also have the rights to grow these varieties in other countries, including South Africa. From September to December, we can grow there. That’s very important to us. We’ve noticed that the import of blueberries is mostly horizontal across the globe, from South America to Western Europe. But in the future, it will be increasingly vertical, from South Africa to Western Europe, so that delivery times will become shorter, which is to the benefit of the product’s freshness, and thus results in better quality. The decision to have our own blueberry varieties gives us a major head start towards retail and customers. With our own variety programme, abbGrowers can guarantee a constant flavour experience, berry size, freshness and shelf life,” Leon emphasises.
“We’ll market the Sekoya programme under abbGrowers’ own brand name. Consumers who choose this brand, will always be ensured of blueberries with the same unique flavour and quality, and they’ll never be disappointed. The blueberries will always meet expectations. This will result in continued repeat purchases.”
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