Ad Pollux has just taken up the position of general manager at Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg. This cooperative is based in the Netherlands. Originally from the Dutch city of Venlo, Ad has been active in various fruit and vegetable companies in recent years. These posts have been in the Netherlands as well as abroad. He is now going to apply all the knowledge he gained at Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg. This fruit auction house is based in the Dutch village of Margraten.
"I was approached by a recruiting firm just after this year's trade show in Berlin. After a few meetings, I came to consider this opportunity a huge challenge. Fruit cultivation is not the easiest sector nowadays. That is certainly the case in this part of the country. However, the company's board's plans resonated with me. They want to bring about change. I am eager to get involved."
"My experience in the fruit cultivation sector revolves mainly around buying and selling apple and pears. But these functions are much broader than mere commerce. For example, as the 'owner' of this cooperative, I must now gain the growers' confidence. I, however, regard that in the same light as the business associations I used to chair. In this position, I also have to deal with a lot of stakeholders. These include the different authorities. Along with my team, we must ensure we make headway on an organizational level. That is needed to make us future-proof," says Ad.
About 80 farmers are affiliated with Fruitveiling Zuid-Limburg. "The cooperative and organization are bursting with ambition. They see a future for traditional varieties as well as club varieties when it comes to top fruit. We have enormous opportunities to enlarge our share in the retail market with some varieties. These are with the Junami, Joly Red, Morgana, and Wellant apple varieties."
"We also see growth potential for stone fruit and strawberry cultivation in the summer season. But, first, I want to take the time to get to know the business inside and out. To achieve this, I am supported by a hugely ambitious, like-minded board. They have recently often stuck their necks far out. That commitment creates a lot of confidence for the future," continues Pollux.
That his starting as general manager at this fruit cooperative would coincide with the current crisis surrounding the outbreak of this novel coronavirus strain, is something Ad could never have foreseen. "Fortunately, apple and pear sales are still going well. The orders keep coming in. Although, we have not seen much movement in the price yet. Just like everyone else, we must consider the situation from day to day. Everyone's health is of the highest priority now," he concludes.