Finding a new home for a melon peeler from North Holland in Tunisia. Or a pre-used carrot slicer getting a second lease on life in Eastern Europe. For Troostwijk Auctions in the Netherlands, this is a piece of cake. Last year, the company organized 394 auctions in the foodstuffs industry. Most of these were for the fruit and vegetable processing industry.
"We get a tremendous amount of requests from this sector," says Andrej Pieterson. He is Troostwijk's account manager for the food processing industry. "On the one hand, this is being stimulated because there are a lot of new machines being built. The need for far-reaching automation is fueling this. On the other, there are, for example, droughts and fewer natural resources. As a result, companies in the processing industry's production capacities are growing."
"We have also noticed that production areas are being relocated to different countries. The growing economy in central and eastern Europe means there is more money available to buy these machines. European Union subsidies greatly aid this. We are good at bringing supply and demand together. We have offices in just about every European country, but we sell to 158 countries worldwide. The large machines are sold more often in Europe or close by. But, the smaller machines and parts go all over the world," says Andrej.
"More than 90% of the auctions we organize are voluntary. Many vegetable processing businesses have a few machines standing in a corner. Auctions are often used as a way to clean up every few years. It is especially the large fruit and vegetable processors who do so. Sometimes, it is thought an old machine might still come in handy. But, in practice, these older machines no longer fit in with the hygienic design of a new production location."
"People from Dutch and Belgian businesses often buy machines at auction to test these machines less expensively. It also often has to do with how scarce a machine is. Machine manufacturers normally have a delivery time of a few months; you get it immediately from us. An auction lasts, at most, two weeks."
The recent Coronavirus outbreak means many Italian machine manufacturers are currently at a standstill. "A lot of stainless steel machines, in particular, come from Northern Italy. This will certainly have an effect on the market in the short and medium-term. This shortage is regarding parts as well as complete machines. As a result, secondhand machines will be of increased value. In short, if you want to get rid of a machine, there is a good chance you will make good money in the next nine months," Andrej concludes.