"We're approaching the end of September. But, there are still plenty of Dutch products being traded. Bell peppers' quality is good. There's little to complain about, especially about the fresh product," writes Frits van der Meulen in his column on the Dutch Quality Control Bureau's (KCB) website.
"It's important, however, that stocks don't remain in cold stores too long, post-harvest. Then, their shelf life tends to deteriorate in the fall. Tomatoes seem to be less sensitive to that. Those in the trade and retail sectors look good. Cucumbers, also, are of good quality with few problems."
Eggplants often stay too long on shelves
"Retail channel eggplant sales have increased somewhat in recent years. But this remains smaller in the Netherlands than in other European countries. In, particularly, the United Kingdom, more people eat this product than in the Netherlands. When eggplants remain on the shelves for too long, the quality deteriorates noticeably. However, the fresh products the KCB encounters during inspections are fine," writes Frits.
Retailers want year-round Dutch product
"Fall is here, and the trade and supply of Dutch products are starting to decline. Dutch supermarkets are keen to promote local products. And, every spring, shoppers eagerly await fresh Dutch products. Retailers prefer to sell Dutch products all year round. In the case of tomatoes, that's already quite possible."
"However, the other greenhouse vegetable supply is still very limited. These are things like bell peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers. That's why, every year, supermarkets still sell Spanish products. The quality of these has been quite variable in recent years. Their shelf life is also regularly disappointing," Frits concludes.