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Grower Twan van Heel:

Netherlands: “The challenge is to keep distinguishing yourself”

Dutch grower Twan van Heel specializes in the cultivation of strawberries. His greenhouse covers 5,000 m2. “It’s a huge challenge to reach the intended quality,” he says. “What we have here is a relatively small company, but that means I have a good overview and a tight grip on the situation. In this sector you depend on several factors, like the sun, the water supply, the right temperature, all of these ingredients have to be just right to get the color and flavour you want.”

Twan used to be a mushroom farmer, but when he saw the branch decline he switched to strawberries. “So far business has been good, but you can tell the market is fluctuating more than it used to. Prices are great right now, but that can change in a heartbeat. The best thing to do is to keep distinguishing yourself.”

“The great thing about strawberries is that it isn’t a standard product,” says Twan. “It allows you to take on the challenge and go for top quality.” Twan is optimistic about the future: “I expect prices to go up in the coming weeks. Demand is likely to rise and that’s always a nice thing.”

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