Arie Middelburg, GreenMatch:

"Movement in Spanish horticulture. Dutch season under more pressure"

During his visit to the annual fair "Fruit Attraction" held in Madrid (16 to 18 October), Arie Middelburg from GreenMatch noticed that Spanish horticulture was not standing still. Although the divisions between the different parties of cooperatives and trade was still large, there was still the necessity to look to the future. In the different discussions the main points which came up were:

  • Year round delivery to the European market, particularly with peppers.
  • Cooperation to ensure sufficient volume, marketing and account management to the large (European) supermarkets.
  • A large awareness on quality and progress.

Spain still admires Dutch horticulture, but they are also proud of their own abilities and could be a formidable competitor. I am not trying to be pessimistic but it looks like the so named 'Holland season' is going to come under more pressure. In short the preference for a Dutch product on the European market has decreased. If Holland wants to hold its position, then they must decide to continue to work on the reliability, quality and distinction. 

The Spanish have a nice large assortment to offer, in any desired package. However their cost price is not much lower and their own divisions still have a part to play, but still, if 28,000 ha of covered cultivation just in Almeria has, 67% export, an export growth of nearly 15% in volume exports in 10 years time, it still makes an impression.

Spain is definitely moving towards becoming a clear competitor. A competitor who still has a lot to learn... GreenMatch would like to contribute to the future. We live and work here after all and are not on an island!

Arie Middelburg

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