The fresh garlic season is currently in full swing at the Dutch company, Biesheuvel Knoflook. "Considering the conditions we had, the crop isn't disappointing. It was sopping wet last autumn. That was followed by extremely dry weather in the spring. We certainly don't have a great volume. But, the crop isn't entirely disappointing. Everyone harvested a little less. But, as a result, we can earn a little more per box too," says Arjan Biesheuvel, with satisfaction.
Biesheuvel sells most of its garlic to Dutch retailers via Oxin Growers. But, through exporters, a lot of it also ends up in Germany. "We are, however, getting more and more competition from regional farmers on the German market. Local products are a real item there. Unfortunately, here in the Netherlands, we're less biased," says Biesheuvel. "Sales are quiet at the moment. But that's not unusual for this time of year. Once the German growers are done, we can get well on our way. Our Dutch garlic from the CA cells is available until the end of the year."
Arjan is highly committed to marketing Dutch garlic. "Someone has to do it, so I might as well," laughs the grower. "A lot of people associate our product with those two bulbs in a little net. But few are familiar with fresh garlic. Last week, we presented our garlic to a top French chef, Alain Caron. He runs the kitchen at De Gouden Reael, a well-known restaurant in Amsterdam."
"Alain's not only known for his restaurants. He's also appeared on several TV programs. These include MasterChef the Netherlands and other Dutch food shows. Alain loves fresh garlic. We could use good ambassadors like him," concludes Arjan.