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Wilco Heemskerk; Fresh Organic Choice

Organic herbs from Ghana and Ethiopia

Wilco Heemserk, founder of Fresh Organic Choice, supplies fresh organic herbs to the market all year round. The company from Poeldijk now supplies its products not just in the Netherlands, but also in Scandinavia, Germany and Belgium.

Year round
"We can supply diverse organic herbs to the market twelve months a year," says Wilco. "Think of products like chives, flat parsley, dill, oregano, rosemary, etc. To be able to offer these herbs to the consumer on the market all year round, we work with set growers in Italy, Spain and Portugal, where they can be grown year round. In the summer we buy a large portion of our herbs from Dutch organic growers."

"The cultivation of organic herbs isn't easy. Some herbs are more resistant than others. With organic appliance it is possible to achieve a good result and maintain 100% organic cultivation. In the summer we buy organic herbs in the Netherlands from organic growers. This season lasts from April/May to September. It mainly concerns dill, coriander, leafy parsley and basil from greenhouses."

More demand for organic herbs
"There is still a rising trend in the sales of organic herbs in Europe. The consumer is consciously working with it and I expect there to be a further rise over the coming years." Due to the growing line there seems to be more competition on the market. "We see some competition in our segment in the summer months. The demand for organic herbs is larger in the summer, although the difference compared to other season sin't noteworthy. The demand for thyme and rosemary increases when it is good weather, just like mint, which is more popular in the summer. Unlike the competition we are able to offer our organic herbs all year round due to the strong network that we have. For the future we are looking to see whether we can sell our organic herbs in regular supermarkets. The supermarket generally has a small range of herbs but the trend of growing organic assortment in the stores means we are hoping to break through here."

Their own assortment of organic herbs is also expanding. "New for us is the Thai and red basil that we are getting from Portugal. Later we also want to add samphire to our assortment from Portugal and Israel."

Ethiopia and Ghana
In the framework of sustainability and development aid, Fresh Organic Choice is also active in Ethiopia and Ghana to support growers there in growing organic herbs for a fair price. "This is a support programme from the Dutch government and Oxfam Novib that we stepped into and offer a contribution towards. The farmers in Ethiopia recently received more money to further expand this project and we are helping them with the necessary knowledge and sales of their products."

Construction of a cooled warehouse in Ethiopia

For more information:

Wilco Heemkerk

Fresh Organic Choice

ABC Westland 206 K3
2685 DC Poeldijk
Tel: +31(0174) 28 03 65 

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