"The quality and quantity of this year's French stonefruit are good. My suppliers have had little trouble with hail damage. They are located along the Rhone and in Southern France," says Toon Smetsers in the Netherlands.
"We are receiving an ample supply of French peaches and nectarines. There is demand, but it is only increasing slowly. Clients do not demand too many pallets at once. Prices have remained at a stable level. The large sizes are somewhat more expensive."
Toon used to have a large trading company in the Dutch town of Veldhoven. While there, he already exported nice volumes of giant mushrooms and other Dutch vegetables to Southern France. He has always kept in contact with his French suppliers.
Toon now sells produce on a commission basis to Dutch wholesalers and exporters. He gets his supply mostly from countries like France, Spain, and Italy. "We mainly act as a middleman. We take care of the purchase until it has been delivered to our client's warehouse," Toon says.
"When it comes to imports, Dutch fruit and vegetable companies are strongly focused on the Spanish market. They often leave French imports on the sideline. This is in contrast to, for example, the German or Swiss wholesalers."
"In my opinion, this is unjustified. The French have beautiful products. Not every trading company knows its way around France. For this reason, I can fill that gap in their imports for them. There is also a high demand for this kind of commission trade," Toon explains.
"My suppliers are completely focused on their specific products. These include peaches and nectarines. They then also supply extra-good fruit. It cannot be compared to the Spanish fruit cultivation. The fruit is grown in a mountainous region in France. This contributes to the robustness and quality of the fruit."
"We currently also offer French Charentais melons. These should not be mistaken for the Cantaloupe melons from Italy and Spain. There is good demand and prices are at a reasonably stable level," concludes Toon.
For more information:
Toon Smetsers Fruit & Vegetables
5151 BB Drunen, the Netherlands
Mob: +31 (0) 653 289 888