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Iceberg lettuce, mini-Romaine, and bok choy seasons kick off at Compliment

"Good demand for Dutch open field vegetables"

At vegetable company Compliment in Volkel, the Dutch season has kicked off again. "On May 3rd, we were already harvesting iceberg lettuce, which was extremely early, but the product was planted under favorable conditions and due to the relatively high day and night temperatures, we were able to start early," says director Peer Schraven.

"However, weather conditions continue to be a challenge. Fortunately, we now have access to more fields, but in terms of planning, we've had to turn everything upside down," Peer shares. In addition to iceberg lettuce, Compliment also has mini Romaine lettuce and bok choy available. "The Spanish market was completely empty of these products, so there's no shortage of demand."

Compliment's assortment remains the same as last year, with Bimi broccoli being the latest addition to the line. The company has its fields within a 15-kilometer radius around Uden to spread risk by planting on several fields simultaneously. "The quality we've started with is superb. The prices of the vegetables are high. Buyers, both domestic and international, are eager to start, as the channels are empty."

Product availability becomes a major issue
"You'll notice that product availability is becoming an increasingly major issue. It was always ample in the Netherlands in the past, but that situation is changing. Customers are therefore increasingly focusing on a good relationship with their suppliers. This does lead to a more balanced market," observes Peer. The distribution of Compliment is aimed at the Dutch retail market, the cutting plants, and some is also exported.

Aside from weather conditions, the director of Compliment cites strict laws and regulations as the biggest challenge. "Consider the potential loss of Movento. If no solution is found, then the cultivation of iceberg lettuce, as well as cauliflower and broccoli, will simply no longer be possible in the Netherlands. I have faith that a solution will be found, as I cannot imagine politicians wanting these vegetables to only come from abroad. In terms of food safety, no one has it as well organized as we do in the Netherlands."

New housing for employees
"More is being demanded of us in terms of certifications and delivery performance, and costs are skyrocketing. This is making healthy food increasingly expensive. Rising labor costs are also a major challenge. We are now busy creating new housing for our employees. All rooms for two people with their own bathroom and kitchenette. You have to go the extra mile to retain good employees," says Peer. "We're excited for the season and are looking forward to the year with optimism."

For more information:
Peer Schraven
Compliment BV
Zeelandsedijk 1
5408 SL Volkel
Tel.: +31 (0)6 22 08 56 60
[email protected]

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