Michel Hoogendoorn, The Greenery, sales manager Eastern Europe

"Russians want products directly from growers"

As an international player in the fruit and vegetable world The Greenery did not miss WorldFood Moscow 2012. "Russia has an important place in our export program and we notice a stable growth during the last years," Michel Hoogendoorn of The Greenery explains. He is the key figure between Eastern European players and the Dutch producers. "With effect from this year the Greenery has integrated top and soft fruit to Russia in the sales department. In this way expertise and knowledge have increased. Export can be better supported as well and there is also optimum control of the logistic situation."
Relationship with important brandnames
"We mainly are in contact with the retail in Russia: Michel says. "We have been active in that country for a while, but some time ago we took a step back and
re-considered our strategy. We would like to connect with large brands and supply the large retailers directly without using the distributive trade. In addition we have a partnership with fast food chains and processing companies, where we supply lettuce and tomatoes at the moment. In the meantime a very large part of the total production of our growers is sold in Russia. Also at the moment we are discussing partnerships with A-product producers outside of Europe. This is about the plan of a close cooperation in the area of division of Russia. We are careful about what products are presented where, because it must show a certain exclusivity. This goes hand in hand with the strategy followed for products from our growers, such as the luxury cherry tomato GoldenRed and the Tommies-snack assortment."

Direct from grower
"Striking in the demand in this country is the change in volumes for quality products. Originally large volumes were required, but now quality is becoming more important all the time. We find it of great importance to maintain our relations and to listen to the wishes of the clients and the growers. We make sure that they get to know each other and recently organised a study trip for growers to Russia. The Dutch product is a premium and also the brand. The Greenery is of importance with the Eastern Europeans. Especially when something comes directly from the grower they are very enthusiastic."
We are also in consultation with colleague exporters, FrugiVenta and the Dutch government to start a campaign to make the Dutch product further known in Russia in connection with 2013, the Russia-The Netherlands year. During these brainstorming sessions we also discuss how to deal with obstacles and the future in dealing with this country."

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