The Belgian exporter is celebrating its 20 years in the trade by increasing both its export and import activities. Thanks to strong ties with growers and cooperatives, the company keeps expanding its offer to customers in soft fruits, top fruit and vegetables. “Our clients are retailers, importers and wholesalers and they count on us to supply not only fresh produce but also tailor-made and cost-saving solutions, innovative ideas and new products. Thanks to our experience, we help our clients retain their edge against their competitors, while we keep up our range of premium Belgian produce to keep sales volumes growing year-on-year”, explains Commercial Manager Johan de Gendt. Originally focused on the Nordic markets, Nicolai Fruit has broadened its portfolio substantially in the major European markets like UK, Germany, Ireland and Spain and more recently also in Russia and Kazakhstan. “We are also looking into new destinations in the Middle East, thanks to greatly improved logistic options from Belgium to that area”, says Johan. As to its star products, Johan states: “Our sweet and aromatic Belgian strawberries are of course still hugely popular, while our conference pears, chicory and white asparagus are really great products in my opinion. However, what I think has been vastly underrated in Europe in recent years is the quality of Belgian sweet cherries, so we will put some extra energy into marketing these cherries in 2014!”Apart from its growing export branch, Nicolai fruit is also expanding its offer of imported produce in order to supply their clients with a wider array of non-Belgian products. “Some clients might not always need big volumes of Southern-European or Southern-Hemisphere produce. Thanks to Belgium’s central location, we try to serve as a provider and hub for them for these items”, concludes Johan. The company complies with HACCP, IFS Higher Level, Belgian Food Safety Autocontrol and GlobalGAP protocols since 2006.