Things have changed a little at Van Langevelde Handelsmaatschappij. From this season, this Dutch trading company will not do any more small onion packs.
Another Dutch company, Gourmet, has taken over this task. “Owner, Jaap van Langevelde is 65, and his children aren’t interested in taking over the business. Gourmet showed interest," says the company’s sales manager, René Tiggelman.
"We’ll continue purely as an onion export agency. After all, 90% of our business already consisted of trade. That will continue; only without the problems that go along with doing small packaging. Our building could now house caravans.”
Sales weren’t great at the beginning of September. “There were still many onion sets available. These usually interfere with seed onion sales. Especially when some people offer these at slightly lower prices. Some clients are sensitive to that, after all," René says.
"But, I had already prepared myself for two quiet weeks on the market. Fortunately, there seemed to be enough onions. Earlier this year, it looked like the disaster of two years ago might reoccur. But, luckily, the situation improved."
When asked about market expectations for the rest of the season, René answers, “That depends on a lot of things, including our buying countries. Our sales to Africa are currently going well. And we’re already exporting to the Far East too. Brazil is now making cautious inquiries. But, it's always guesswork as to when they’ll make a move."
"It’s also unclear what impact the coronavirus pandemic will have. We’ll be able to sell considerably less to European wholesalers and hospitality sector buyers. But, clients in, say, Malaysia aren’t doing as much business either. That’s, after all, a country where people usually eat out a lot,” concludes René.