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Asalettin Toklu, Bella Frutta Ltd Hanover:

"In some cases, Dutch eggplant prices have doubled"

Due to rising energy and transport costs, prices in the greenhouse vegetable sector have gone up several times in recent months. "However, we are still finding it difficult to pass on these increased procurement costs one-to-one to our customers and ultimately to the consumer," confirms Asalettin Toklu, owner of Bella Frutta Ltd at the wholesale market in Hanover, which supplies wholesale customers throughout northern and eastern Germany.

The growing trading company was founded in 2010 and now supplies caterers, specialist retailers and food stores as far afield as Leipzig and Halle. Toklu: "We receive fresh deliveries from the Netherlands every day, and Turkish goods arrive three times a week. Due to the acute shortage of personnel and the wage increases, it is currently extremely difficult to find truck drivers. We still have a total of eight delivery trucks. But if this continues, things could become tricky in the long run."

Asalettin Toklu of Bella Frutta Ltd

Record price increases
Loose vegetables are marketed in large quantities throughout the year. "Dutch TOVs as well as peppers are qualitatively unbeatable at the moment. Belgian Elite tomatoes are also particularly in vogue. Dutch eggplants are currently traded at very high prices. In some cases, Dutch eggplant prices have doubled. Turkish vegetables we hardly trade due to the high import duties in the summer. We only restart these sales from October/November onward. In contrast to Turkish fruits, there is a closer alternative in the vegetable sector for the most part, especially in summer, which is why a piece of the exclusivity is missing."

The only exception, according to Toklu, is the colorful range of mini-vegetables produced in Turkey. "Whether it's mini zucchinis, cucumbers or eggplants, this category is clearly gaining. The same goes for pointed peppers of all kinds, which are now available year-round. In winter, these items tend to be quite a bit more expensive, as growers face increased heating costs during the cold season, even in Turkish greenhouses."

Toklu also sees more marketing potential for this category of goods, from a longer-term perspective. "In the past, we have tried to get certain products listed with retailers, but Turkish mini-vegetables are mainly establishing themselves as a classic wholesale item."

For more information:
Asalettin Toklu
Bella Frutta GmbH
Großmarkt Hannover
T: 0176 / 840 732 29
F: 0511 / 357 241 53  

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