Now that the pandemic is over, business is slowly returning to normal at Roussel Onions. "COVID-19 had a huge impact last year, but things are going much better now," says Pol Roussel, of the Belgian onion processing company. "When the measures were slowly set aside, everything seemed to go back to normal. Until another global issue cropped up."
The conflict in Ukraine is a massive humanitarian disaster. But it also affects the fruit and vegetable sector. "We too are already being affected by high energy and transportation costs," Pol admits.
For the past year, this family business has been collaborating with several Dutch companies. Under the motto 'together we can do more', Sawari Fresh, Biesheuvel Garlic, Waterman Onions, and Roussel Onions merged their basic products under the name, FAIA. That has led to innovative, convenient food concepts based on ginger, fresh garlic, and fresh onions.
"Last year, we officially went public with the partnership during Fruit Attraction in Madrid," explains Charlotte Roussel. "Since then, culinary specialists have been developing innovative concept products based on these three ingredients." Recently, they took the next step - selling chopped, fresh, ready-to-use garlic.
Next week, Roussel Onions and its partners will present more locally-grown, sustainable products born from this collaboration at the London Produce Show. "We'll be presenting different purees," says Charlotte.
"These are made from the separate raw ingredients, in which all our companies specialize. And there will be a garlic, ginger, onion blend. There will be an FAIA stand, where people can get to know the new range. But, we'll also be back with our own products from Roussel Onions."
Easy to use
This business collaboration actually came about quite by chance. "We've been working closely with Waterman Onions for many years. They had connections with the other companies. So, they decided to bring everyone together for a creative idea," Charlotte continues.
"There's a health and convenience trend. And people are cooking increasingly adventurously. Our new convenience products, thus, fit perfectly into this. They inspire consumers. All kinds of food sector companies can also use our products, without a problem, in their production process."
Pol definitely sees a future for this collaboration. "By working together, we can achieve better product development, sales structure, and marketing for the strongest possible brand. Also, we can achieve greater sales." These FAIA products will mainly be sold in Western Europe, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, France, England, and Germany. "This partnership will certainly eventually lead to more products, like ginger shots. It can be anything you can make from ginger, fresh garlic, or onions."
Roussel Onions and FAIA will be at Fruit Logistica in Berlin too where visitors will get to see all these products. "We encourage anyone interested to get in touch," Pol concludes.