In Europe, fruit and vegetable shortages and high prices were big news last week. "You just have to try a little harder to get all your trade. But, for buyers, these are the best times, and you have to go full steam ahead," laughs Ad Pollux, who, this year, took over running Dutch fruit and vegetable wholesaler Eurofresh. "Stocks are somewhat limited, but that's also where demand comes in. If cauliflower reaches €20, you don't sell pallets at a time, but in small quantities."
"What's great about our company is that we can rely on a network of loyal, good suppliers who fulfill their agreements, even in tougher times. But it's bizarre that out-of-season people pay sky-high prices for bell peppers and pointed cabbage while prices for Dutch winter produce and top fruit are in the gutter. But that's just how our sector works," says Ad.
The Eurofresh purchasing team: f.l.t.r Harm Basten, John Lemmen, Math Gommans, and Marcel Goumans
"Eurofresh is very strong in greenhouse and full-soil vegetables, which we supplement with the rest of the assortment. Thanks to our network, we've made significant steps recently with top fruit, and there are still more products we're going to tackle. We carry a total range, and we can quickly buy what we don't have in stock. We've started the new asparagus season. That supply is still limited, but when the weather improves, so will that. We're kicking off the new Dutch strawberry season next week, too," explains Ad.
He confirms the Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) report that many stores are refusing cash payments. "We get letters from Rabobank asking us to stop letting our customers pay in cash. People want to get clients out of the cash circuit at all costs, but that's not so easy with market vendors who use cash. We're a wholesaler where you can get goods even with five tens euro notes. We're proud of that. All those small buyers add up."
"Besides, we're right near the German border, and on that side, they're years behind with card payments. I entirely understand that people want to have an overview of financial flows. But I think there are underhand practices that should be better tackled first rather than cash payments at an honest vegetable wholesaler," concludes Ad.
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