Chicory company Frysk-Witlof from Sexbierum, the Netherlands, has no shortage of chicory. The company, formerly known as Hameno, harvests between 250 and 280 hectares of chicory from Dutch and Belgian origin every year, and as a result, it’s the biggest chicory company in the Netherlands.
“That’s our strength. When customers order a lorry of chicory at seven am, it’ll be ready for them by 2 pm,” says Dennis Blankendaal.
The company is currently working on a large-scale new building, which will feature, among other things. 12 new harvesting cells. The renovation project, which costs approximately three million euro, consists partly of a frame and partly of new construction.
Once everything is finished, the company will have 37 cells, 21 of which will be new and 16 will be old. Automation is a spearhead for Frysk-Witlof. “Each head is only touched once.”
It wasn't just the new building that resulted in a major change in the management of Frysk_Witlof. The company also has plenty of developments in sales, and these sales are being taken care of by cooperative Best of Four. Up till last year, Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn was the only buyer of the produced chicory, but now they buy about 50 per cent of the production.
“The increase in size is continuing, and we want to be one of the companies that continue to produce chicory. For that, we’re looking at new and existing sales channels and the opportunities to increase our market share. We’re doing that in Belgium, Germany and Italy, among other places,” Dennis says.
Frysk-Witlof currently doesn’t have radicchio in production – because Albert Heijn decided to take it from their range – but the company has plans to take up this production again in future.
“The current chicory market isn’t great, but that could easily change. More and more chicory is used in salads. If the southern markets start having demand again, the market could change in a heartbeat. But we’re not swayed by the issues of the day. We have a plan for multiple years, and we’re feeling positive about the future of chicory. Once the new building is finished, we’ll have a state of the art chicory company!”
For more information:
8855 XC Sexbierum, the Netherlands
T: +31 517 59 27 72
M: +31 6 83 98 64 24