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Maarten Voois, PEQ:

"We offer overseas producers a total package access to the European market”

PEQ's Maarten Voois sometimes sighs when he learns that yet another overseas producer has set up a European sales office in the Netherlands. "We have such fantastic facilities to completely unburden overseas growers. So, by doing it themselves, they're financially shooting themselves in the foot," he begins.

"We want to provide services to many more parties during the winter. We have office space, storage, all the packaging facilities, and a 70-vehicle fleet. We can also support overseas exporters in co-selling and provide broad commercial clout by absorbing seasonal ups and downs. "

PEQ's 9.000m2 premises in the Netherlands is fully equipped. The building is divided into two floors, separating the packaging department from the logistics activities. The upper packaging division has refrigerated space for 400 pallets. Downstairs, there is space for 1,000 pallets in the cold stores.

The storage area, also downstairs, can hold another 1,000. The heart of the building has two express elevators and a large freight elevator. The building uses a WMS so that every pallet can be tracked. The packaging floor houses sorting machines and several packaging machines for flow packing and top sealing too.

"We, thus, have everything needed to sort and pack products in all kinds of packaging, from sealed, flow packed, or top sealed," Maarten says. Although plastic reduction has been a hot topic recently, this packaging company has yet to see changing demand reflect that. "When people intend to work more sustainably, top sealing seemed a much sought-after solution for a long time."

"Now, however, more parties are reverting to punnets. Nobody knows exactly what course the packaging market will take. Once costs come into play, ethics sometimes seem to become fluid. We keep a close eye on the market and follow it. So, we can package according to any customer specifications," explains Maarten.

During the Dutch season, bell peppers and cucumbers are, by far, the most packaged product at PEQ. The recent trend was for the Dutch cultivation season to be continually extended. However, the energy market has caused a sudden imbalance in that market. "We had a good summer season, and our growers are very satisfied. We start the new Dutch season knowing it will be shorter, starting later and ending sooner."

"So, more volume will enter the market in a short time. That doesn't necessarily have to immediately put prices under pressure. Last year, for example, high cucumber production coincided with supermarket promotions. No one couldn't have predicted that, and I've never experienced such a good cucumber season. And I've been around for quite a few years," Voois says.

The shorter summer season means this packaging company has room to expand its operations, especially in the winter. "Whether it's stone fruit, grapes, exotics, or Southern European kiwis, we have plenty to offer overseas producers. Our premises are centrally located in the Westland, the heart of the fruit and vegetable sector."

"Also, as part of the Weyers Group, we're well-equipped within the various product groups and have a good position within the European retail and wholesale sector. The great thing is that every company in the group is independent. We, thus, retain our entrepreneurial spirit, but we can utilize each other's specialties and network," Maarten concludes.

For more information:
Maarten Voois
(who will be at Fruit Logistica Berlin from February 8 to 10)
Tel.: +31 (0) 174 728 801
Mob.: +31 (0) 654 244 428

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