In April this year, Paul van Groningen started in Spain, together with his wife, Maria Elena, as an independent commercial agent. "We help various producers, particularly from Spain, to sell the product. We also handle part of the buying and selling of Dutch products for a German partner."
Most go directly from grower to buyer, the producer invoices directly to the end customer, but there are also producers and customers who prefer to deal with only one party. For these customers, we have found a good cooperation with Thomasol Gestión SL in El Campello (Alicante). Our working methods often coincide, and that is why we quickly found a good cooperation. By combining our joint knowledge and industry experience with both our networks in Spain and also in the Netherlands, we believe that one plus one can be three together."
Paul and his wife, Maria Elena
"Our focus is on the Spanish product with products from reliable, good growers where we work with short lines for the long term. Sales are particularly focused on the German-speaking countries, where we carry the whole package according to the season. Meanwhile, the citrus and vegetable season is just around the corner, and from spring, the stone fruit and melon season gets underway," Paul says.
He says the presence in Spain certainly has advantages. "From here, it is easier to just visit a grower. From next month, we are moving south for a few months. That's where the bulk of the trade comes from, so that's where we need to be then. After all, it's good to see for yourself how the produce is doing."
"For next season, for now, it is very difficult to say what will happen. Signing seasonal contracts is very difficult. Because of the strange conditions in recent years, many growers, but also customers, are uncertain. What will the weather do? What is the final gas price going to be? Increased disease pressure because there are no adequate crop protection products for certain pests or they are not allowed also increases growers' uncertainty."
"If everything goes along and the weather is super, there will be ample product. But a few days of severe weather or a disease in the plants can just turn the situation into severe shortages. Ultimately, no one benefits from agreements that are not kept, which is why many growers prefer to work on the basis of weekly prices and availability. In any case, we are ready, looking forward to it, and hope to have another great season," Paul concludes.