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Kurty, AGF Overtoom:

“Buying directly from growers is not always an advantage for traders”

In 1995, fresh produce wholesaler Overtoom started as a small greengrocer’s in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Approximately ten years later, the Turkish entrepreneurs started a second shop on the same street. Nowadays, they only focus on the wholesaler at the Foodcenter. They have plenty to do there. “We grow annually, and we notice that customers appreciate our quality products and services,” says Kurty, nephew of owner Mustafa Özdemir. “If our buyers place an order at four o’clock in the afternoon, it will be delivered to them on the same day. We deliver seven days a week.”

Kurty with the tomatoes.

Seven days a week
Overtoom supplies to restaurants throughout Amsterdam. “According to our customers, we are truly an institution in this city. To them, quality is more important than price.” Overtoom has nine vans, and they will soon receive their tenth. The growing company does not have much room left to grow. “That is the downside of the Foodcenter. We now have about 600 square metres, and we would like to double that. But you cannot just expand. Soon there will be some opportunities to buy, so we are probably going to do that. We will also have to temporarily go into the building everyone used to be in, because they are renovating it completely. But in future, all fresh produce companies should all be in a nice row.”

Turkish import
The company imports a lot of its own products, and also buys from other companies on the market. “We do business with almost everyone here at the Foodcenter, and we buy from many colleagues. We want to be able to offer a complete package. For example, if a customers also needs cola and toilet paper, we add that to the order. Certain products we import directly, such as Turkish pomegranates and peppers. And that is why customers return. We also get certain products from other countries, such as special types of lettuce from Italy or citrus from Spain. Restaurants especially buy vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. To them, fruit is more of a ‘luxury product,’ it is sold far less.” He occasionally buys directly from Dutch cultivators. “It is not always advantageous for a trader, but, naturally, it could be good. We buy mostly from Wijnand de Mooij, who has beautiful Dutch vegetables.”

Turkish customers
Besides catering service customers, Turkish retailers also buy from Overtoom. “Unfortunately, some retailers do not pay their bills in time, we have to be watchful of those. That is why I regularly ask new Turkish customers for an authorisation in advance. We personally have a European mindset, and we want customers to understand this. It is important to just remain professional. We supply a good service and good quality products, and we should be fairly compensated.” 

For more information:
AGF Overtoom
Foodcenter Amsterdam
Jan van Galenstraat 14
1051 KM Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)20 48 65 348
F: +31 (0)20 25 81 105
[email protected]
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