The Belgian organic top fruit and winter vegetable season has started at BelOrta. The glasshouse vegetable season is at its end. The last supplies are currently being moving out the door. “We in a major switchover phase between summer and winter vegetables. There is a little demand for organic winter vegetables. This is due to the colder weather," says Sander De Proost of BelOrta Bio. “Pumpkins, leeks, and parsnips are very popular these days. As are apples and pears."
“We have noticed that, in recent years, the major retailers keep expanding their organic assortment. That is why we are striving to offer as wide a range of organic products as possible. In this way, we not only attract retailers. We also attract greengrocers, the foodservice industry, and market vendors."
"We have also noticed that new, sometimes smaller businesses increasing find their way to organic products. The demand for organic goods, therefore, is also consistently on the rise on this level," explains Sander. “We are in a real demand market. Prices are also considerably more stable than on the conventional market."
However, according to De Proost, it is a challenge to expand the assortment. In Belgium (and the Netherlands), growers do not easily switch over to organic cultivation. This is due to the long switchover period. "It is certainly very difficult to find glasshouse vegetable farmers. It is, therefore, sometimes tough to meet demand."
"We do, however, try to prevent companies from getting organic fruit and vegetables from overseas. That is why we invest heavily in encouraging growers to switch to organic farming. But we always do this in a controlled manner. We want to grow in a focused way. We want to continue achieving positive results," concludes Sander.