The Dutch company Exotic Roots was established in September 2020 with the goal of meeting the exotic fruit and vegetable market's demand. Almost three years on, owner Tim Struckman reflects on that start with satisfaction. "We're increasingly deepening our assortment," he says.
"Early on, we mainly focused on importing okra from Honduras and beans from Kenya, supplemented by Brazilian and Mexican mangos. We've since expanded that with correctly certified goods from counties including Colombia, Thailand, and South Africa."
"Now, our biggest import products are Colombian granadilla, soursop, baby mango, and mangosteen. We get a lot of baby corn, tarragon fruit, and peeled durian and jackfruit from Thailand," says Tim.
"And from South Africa, weekly arrivals of baby vegetables in small packs. We're thus gradually building a total range for our customers."
"Initially, we sold primarily to wholesalers across Europe, but we're getting increasingly more demand from Dutch players wanting certified exotics. More and more of them are noticing us on, for example, LinkedIn. GlobalGAP certification is especially important to Dutch buyers. Thanks to our global suppliers, we meet that requirement very well," Tim explains.
Exotic Roots flies in about 90% of its products. "Currently, we only get yams from Ghana by boat. But in April, we're expecting our first sea container from Costa Rica with certified products such as cassava, eddoes, and chayote. Fortunately, air freight rates are somewhat lower, and the dollar-euro exchange rate is also starting to favor us again. The challenges lie mainly with things like airport strikes which cause unexpected delays, which we, sadly, cannot control," says Struckman.
The importer has an office in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, but all its products arrive at ABC Logistics in Poeldijk. "All products coming in are thoroughly quality checked, something we've genuinely professionalized. We can also focus on making mix pallets, so we're a 'one-stop shop' for all our clients."
This expansion is not negatively affecting the company. "Our sales have more than doubled compared to December, and they should increase dramatically next quarter again. As a young company, we have the advantage of being enormously flexible and can easily adapt to the constantly changing market," Tim concludes.
For more information:
Tim Struckman / Jonathan de Quartel
2913 LJ, Nieuwerkerk ad IJssel, NL
Tel: :+31 (0) 180 234 111