This year, Sous Fresh started importing pomegranates arils from India. This company is based in Venlo, the Netherlands. These products meet not only a processing industry need. They are also needed in the retail sector. “In one fell swoop, we became the second-largest importer in the Netherlands,” says company director, Remco de Boer, proudly.
This Dutch supplier is the exclusive distributor of these convenience products. These products come from INI Farms in India. Sous Fresh also serves many chefs through food service and fruit and vegetable companies in Germany and Austria. This company does not only bring in pomegranate arils. They also sell coconut chunks that they get from their supplier, INI Farms. "Both products are very popular with consumers due to their taste, appearance and many health benefits."
Purnima Khandelwal (INI Farms) and Remco de Boer (Sous Fresh)
Remco is delighted with this partnership. “INI is a true family business. Just like the Best Fresh companies. We, therefore, immediately clicked. Both businesses want to create value for current and future generations. We want to do so by being involved in the entire chain. We also want sustainability to be a foundation in our companies.”
“We plan to modernize Indian cultivation. For example, we work with at least 2,000 growers in different Indian states. Together, they have an area of 500 acres (just over 200 hectares). The pomegranates are all deseeded by hand. We employ as many as 500 women in the processing plant. They are also supervisors,” says INI Farms’ (female) CEO, Purnima Khandelwal.
“It is an important goal for us to bring a smile to the faces of our many farmers. That is why social certification is a matter of course for us. We also have the necessary export certification, such as GlobalGAP.”
Pomegranate arils and coconut chunks are not only popular in the retail sector. They are also in high demand as an ingredient for the processing industry. “An important condition is that the pomegranate arils have a nice red color. INI Farms gets these arils from various regions in India. We can, therefore, supply a uniform product all year long. Almost no-one else can guarantee this. That is why these products are so popular", says Remco.
“Large food processing companies now know where to find us for these products with freshness, taste and color. In addition, we guarantee a good shelf life and we offer a wide range of packaging. We expect this growth to continue in the coming years, too,” Remco concludes.