Lenders-Peeters Organic Plants from Kessel and Neer, the Netherlands, is a relatively young company that was founded four years ago from a cooperation between Lenders leek and asparagus plants and organic production company Peeters Mertens from Neer. Their company’s activities? The production of organic leek and asparagus plants for European organic growers.
“We’re currently still busy harvesting the leek plants in the fields,” says Ruud Lenders, co-owner of the company. “The production went well this year. We were a bit behind schedule at first, due to the cold spring, but we caught up again later. The leek growers started harvesting their summer leek about five weeks ago. For this production, we sell organically cultivated super seedlings from Morocco. Kilo yield and pricing are currently good.”
The market for organic leek plants is favourable. “As a company, we still grow every year,” Ruud says. “However, we shouldn’t rely on the Dutch market. We’ve noticed that the organic area remains fairly stable and doesn’t grow much in the Netherlands. We have good sales to other European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. Our biggest sales market is France.”
Variation in the fields
The cooperation between Lenders and Peeters-Mertens makes it possible to continue growing, because fields are still being switched to organic production for Lenders as well. With the organic productions of Peeters Mertens, they’re looking into an optimal crop variation in the combination of leek and asparagus plants. “We’ve decided to get in this market because demand from our customers for organic plants from the Netherlands increased more and more from week 18 to 31, in addition to their demand for Moroccan organic plants.
Our company can offer this, mostly because we have an effective policy for our fields. Organic leek plants can be grown just once every two years. Then you have to wait. In the meantime, our partner Peeters Mertens grows vegetable crops, such as parsnip or courgettes and green manure crops, on our fallow fields. This way, we have an optimal production plan for both companies and development possibilities for the future.”
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