There are reports that the Dutch organic market is struggling with inflation and that consumers are, thus, not buying organic goods. Contrary to that, TOFF has begun the year well. "Our customers will share their concerns with us, and we read that people are buying fewer organic products. Our sales figures, however, contradict that," Jeffrey Moret says.
TOFF works with local and overseas growers and its acreage increased last year. "Some growers have more acreage, whereas others have switched buyers. With us, growers benefit because we purchase the entire crop." TOFF supplies retailers and wholesalers. "Most goes to wholesalers, where mix pallets are prepared for, say, restaurants. When the market's quiet, we can sell the surplus products to wholesalers," says Jeffrey.
The TOFF team .
Wholesale revenues are up too. "We have a wide range that we expand from time to time. New are specialties like passion fruit, mini cucumbers, and blood oranges. The average fruit and vegetable company doesn't include these products in its main assortment. We also have bananas and mini bananas, for which there has been much demand lately, despite the uncertain organic market."
More greenhouse vegetables
The Dutch organic greenhouse vegetable acreage has shrunk overall. Not so at TOFF, where it grew from 7 to 9,5 hectares. "It's a difficult market," Jeffrey admits, "but it's all about good communication and the right cultivation programs." Greenhouse vegetable growers face hefty production cost increases. "We're willing to pay part of that price; it's inescapable. You must rethink processes and cut costs where possible."
"Working the same way for years blinds you to certain intermediate steps or transportation options. There's always a way to make the process more efficient. We often come up with creative solutions. For example, we've removed transport from the process. Inspection, distribution, and packaging are now increasingly done in the field. We've installed a packaging line and ensure the products can also be loaded. That makes a significant difference," Moret explains.
TOFF plans to focus even more on open ground vegetables in the coming years.
The European Commission wants organic farming's share to reach 25% by 2030. Each member state must devise its plans for that. Plans Jeffrey feels the current high inflation has put on hold. "Organics have generally slowed down a little as people wait to see what happens. I don't think it will be too bad; we're not in a recession, something I also doubt will happen. I expect the organic market to survive this."
Jeffrey is optimistic about the future too. "The current situation obviously affects some people financially, but people are becoming more aware of food, too, and want to live healthier. We very much want our production to expand, and we'll mainly focus on top fruit and greenhouse and open-field vegetables. We're already making great strides in these areas, and we have, for example, a larger Dutch pear supply. We want to keep at that," Jeffrey concludes.
For more information:
Gebroken Meeldijk 52
2991 VD Barendrecht
Tel.: +31 (0)85 070 4572