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Dutch wholesalers, Michel van den Berg and Wijnand de Mooij, respond

Do stores and market vendors compensate for the loss of catering clients?

The Rotterdam market closed on Friday. Companies in the hospitality industry followed suite over the weekend. "That is, in total, 50% of our client base. So it does affect us," says wholesaler, Wijnand de Mooij from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

"In contrast, our loyal Turkish, Moroccan, and Polish stores are ordering more than usual now. This is because people are stockpiling en masse. Yesterday was a madhouse again here. All the stores were empty. There was a real run for, especially, potatoes and onions."

Wijnand de Mooij

"These stores and market vendors ultimately form the foundation of our business. From there, we grew to what we are now. Not just an importer, wholesaler, and hospitality industry supplier. We also still supply markets and stores. It is terrible what is happening at the moment. However, my father always says, 'It is never so dark that it will not be light again'," says Wijnand, optimistically.

Unlike the markets in Rotterdam, the market in The Hague is still open. "But the restaurants and other hospitality places are closed. We have clearly noticed this. We have a few large hospitality industry suppliers as clients," says Michel van den Berg of De Best AGF from the Hague.

He remains hopeful that the markets in the Hague will remain functional. "In fact, I would find it strange if they did not. Hundreds of people are crowding the supermarkets. Why should the market, which is out in the open, be closed down?"

De Best AGF

"You see certain hospitality industry clients not showing up. You have lost their business, for the time being. That means a large portion of your revenue is simply gone. It could be disastrous for hotels, restaurants, and caterers if this lasts long. I got a lot of returns yesterday. That is, of course, not ideal. But you try to help those people a little," says the wholesaler from the Hague. 

"We have had relatively normal days when it comes to foot traffic. It is mainly the standard products that are selling well. Cauliflower, broccoli, and beans - these are the vegetables that popular now. Apparently, the supermarkets do not always have these available. Ginger is also selling like crazy," says Michel.

Another Dutch wholesale business, Postuma AGF, took to social media earlier this week. They said that the stores and market vendors were making up for the losses from the hospitality industry. "On Sunday evening, we hurriedly removed as many orders as possible from catering suppliers from our trucks."

"On Monday, our volume was 38% higher than the same day last year. That is without the hospitality industry suppliers. They normally take 20% of our volume. In fact, there is an increase of almost 60% in deliveries to retailers and market vendors."


"This shows that people are really stockpiling food. Despite reports, also from our side, that this is not necessary. There is enough supply. There is also no indication that this will change," concludes the Postuma spokesperson.

For more information:
Wijnand de Mooij
170 Groothandelsmarkt
3044 HG, Rotterdam, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 104 373 984

Michel van den Berg
De Best AGF
Mob.: +31 (0) 623 728 028

Postuma AGF
2 Manenbergring
8271 RX, IJsselmuiden, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 383 370 099

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