The Greenery has recently refocused its activities. To become even more customer-oriented, the Dutch group split its business units into The Greenery Growers, The Greenery International, and The Greenery Logistics. Peter van der Schoot is Commercial Director at The Greenery Logistics. "All logistics services are now bundled, and third parties can use them too," he begins.
Peter van der Schoot, Commercial Director at The Greenery Logistics
The sales cooperative implemented this clear division to improve and target its client services even more. "Continuously anticipating customers' wishes and needs and actually acting on them. Logistics-wise, external parties were interested in using our services. We have so much in-house knowledge and expertise. Why not offer this to others too? Then we can work together to ensure that consumers get the best fruit and vegetables every day."
Flexible logistics service provider
The Greenery Logistics (TGL) includes Hollander, soft fruit DC Breda, import & retail DC Barendrecht, Dijco, and The Greenery Fust & packaging's logistical services. "These companies each focus on their specific market and customer group. They all used to operate separately from each other. Now we do that under one name," says Peter.
"Bundling these activities means we now efficiently manage the entire logistics chain. As a flexible logistics service provider, we provide our clients with customized solutions, thus unburdening them. We not only do warehousing or container handling, for example; we can also take over the entire logistics process."
As an example, Peter cites a well-known supermarket chain for which TGL manages the entire logistics process, from purchasing to order picking. "We handle imports, from the moment of arrival at the Port of Rotterdam, for the German EDEKA. And last year, we entered into a great partnership with Organto."
"We do all this organic fruit and vegetable supplier's freight handling, quality control, and storage, and we supply packaging solutions. Organto wants to gain a better foothold in various European sales countries. We're pleased to be able to contribute to that. This new collaboration also fits in perfectly with our ambition to offer our logistics services more efficiently and commercially," Van der Schoot explains.
He says this new way of working is already bearing fruit. TGL is significantly expanding its logistics activities for its own and external customers. "New models are emerging too. Overseas shipment handling, for instance, is developing rapidly. Another big advantage is that we can now plan much better for, say, cross-docking and warehousing. And, bundling transport is already going very well."
"We're happy to supplement products collected from The Greenery growers with products from other growers in the area. That lets us create much more efficient routes." TGL focuses mostly on retail and wholesalers who supply retail directly. "These companies struggle with sourcing and are looking for a reliable, flexible logistics partner," Peter concludes. Most of their clients are in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the U.K.
Getting and keeping staff
Staff shortages are proving very challenging for The Greenery too. How are they dealing with that? "We have a program to bring in new people and retain those we already have. For example, we offer new employees many growth and training opportunities and have developed a loyalty program. Employees can save points to buy products or for a nice day out."
"The longer you work for us, the more points you earn. The Greenery wants to be an attractive employer and keep its work activities interesting. For instance, we're focusing on automating repetitive tasks, like a robot for stacking and unstacking pallets. We're also working on making other processes smarter or further automated, such as transport planning."
Soft fruit in ocean plastic
Sustainability is another important theme. "We try to reduce CO2 where possible. The distribution centers now all have solar panels. Plus, we're running a pilot project to investigate alternative fuels, and we package all our soft fruit in Prevented Ocean Plastic. This is recycled plastic collected from coastal areas. Sustainability isn't solely about being environmentally friendly but also people-friendly. Making sure employees feel good and motivated."