After years of preparations, the first Dutch peppers will be exported to China mid July, said Paul Schriel, sales manager at Global Green Team, a Dutch fruit and vegetable trading company that operates worldwide.
“We are accessing a market with a huge potential where we can distinguish ourselves by guaranteeing healthy and safe products,” Schriel said.
The exports are the end result of the lengthy process of the development of a protocol with both the Dutch and Chinese authorities and joint inspections. Many of the precautions revolve around preventing the presence of unwanted flies and strict compliance to the protocol.
“The current exports are meant to optimise routing, registration and inspections and after evaluation will lead to the possibility of China opening to pepper exports in 2017.
“That could open up the way for a follow-up with for instance tomatoes,”Schriel said. It leads him to conclude that the opening of new markets in the Far East is a healthy development.
Global Green Team local production in North America
Besides the Far and Middle East, Global Green Team has a focus on North America, where it sells the majority of its tomatoes and peppers grown in the Netherlands and locally.
Food miles are an issue that Global Green Team addresses by setting up local production.
“If you can show that your products are produced locally, you have an advantage,“ Schriel said.
The transfer of knowledge and quality assurance play a role in that process.
”The Dutch law has a very sharp focus on quality and that is a good indicator of the product that Global Green Team offers. We are strict on the quality we want to deliver and our quality team monitors that. Also we provide guidance to our growers,” he said.
Schriel sees growing demand for organic fresh produce, especially in the US and Canada. He said organic production is intensifying and production yields improving. This is the outcome of an increasingly better understanding of organic production and selection of varieties, he said.