Posted on

REO Veiling: increasingly becoming a leader in tomatoes

REO Veiling: more and more a leader in tomatoes
PRESS RELEASE

 

REO’s main products are now tomatoes, which have surpassed the auction’s renowned leeks and other Belgian vegetables.

In 2020, tomato volumes reached over 64,240 tons at the Roeselare REO Veiling, ahead of the leeks, which are now stable at around 55,000 tons per year. Glasshouse vegetable production has almost doubled over the last 3 years, with 33,800 tons marketed in 2017. Production of other vegetables remains rather stable (see table below): 56,858 tons of leek, 9.5 million punnets of strawberry, 16.6 tons of endives, 9.4 million punnets of mushrooms, 37 million cucumbers, and 33.7 million heads of lettuce. Despite Covid-19 and the drought in May and June 2020, REO Veiling still had a good year. “Many people started to cook for themselves and used fresh vegetables for that,” said REO’s commercial manager Dominiek Keersebilck. The turnover of around €207 million was just €800,000 less than the record set in 2019. “We can look back on a successful year, with growth in supply of 2.5%. That is a record,” said Keersebilck.

Top 12 products of REO Veiling

1

Tomatoes

69.2 million

kg

2

Leek

56.9 million

kg

3

Strawberries

9.5 million

punnets

4

Endive

16.6 million

kg

5

Mushrooms

9.5 million

punnets

6

Butterhead lettuce

33.8 million

heads

7

Cucumber

37.7 million

pieces

8

Courgettes

30.1 million

pieces

9

Convenience

5.4 million

kg

10

Cauliflower

4.2 million

heads

11

Celeriac

7.3 million

pieces

12

White cabbage

6.2 million

heads

   

More sales to Benelux and southern European countries

REO exclusively sells the products of its members, who are based in Belgium and northern France. Due to the pandemic, Benelux countries now account for a larger part of turnover. France is the leading export market, accounting for 86% of the total volume. Germany and the UK are also key destinations. “We have been closely following everything around Brexit, and we are convinced that due to our location and the image of our products, such as leek, beef tomatoes and strawberries, we will strengthen our advantage on the UK market, in close cooperation with the main Belgian exporters,” said Keersebilck. Southern European countries are also becoming more important for the exports of the REO Veiling, in particular for open-field vegetables like leek and lettuce.

 

 

 

Flandria, Fine Fleur and Tomabel premium brands

The REO Veiling markets 3 brands: Flandria, Fine Fleur and Tomabel. “With Flandria and Fine Fleur, we focus promotion on the Belgian consumer through a variety of actions,” said Keersebilck. Cooperation with the famous European volleyball team Knack Roeselare allows REO to combine top sports, healthy vegetables and champion quality. Regarding packaging, there will be a major shift from fixed blue crates to foldable green crates in 2021. In cooperation with Europool Systems, REO is adapting and investing in new washing lines, as well as in automatic inbound and outbound processes. The auction will also develop new packaging for its top brand Tomabel, starting with strawberries.

Belgian reputation in Asia and Canada

Field vegetables from Belgium are popular specialties supplied by airfreight to long-distance markets like Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. Among these products are curly endive, Belgian endive and special-grown leek. “We want to introduce more open-field varieties in Canada like celeriac and leek. We are also working on products containing no soil,” said Keersebilck, who also believes in the market potential of celeriac in South-East Asia, even if the pandemic currently makes it somewhat difficult to introduce new items to foreign markets.

Food safety & sustainability strategies at REO

The auction provides all the certifications required by its customers. The 10 major ones are:

  • Unitar SDG Pioneer Award 2020: REO Veiling was the first to receive the award with 88 other laureates. It recognises the numerous sustainability actions undertaken within the context of the 17 United Nations Development Goals (SDGs) over the last 3 years.
  • ACS Handel or Self-Checking Guide for trade and processing of potatoes, fruit, vegetable, and it is issued by Integra. The guide contains all the requirements and recommendations relating to food safety (including traceability and reporting obligation) and quality (considerations under the authority of the FASFC), which apply to potato, fruit and vegetable processing facilities and in trade involving PFV products.
  • Organic business certificate for companies processing organic products (issued by Integra).
  • Productcertificat Flandria® quality label,
  • FCA (Feed Chain Alliance): food for the animal feed sector, issued by Promag.
  • ISO 22000 governing food safety
  • IFS certificate issued by Integra
  • QS certificate issued by Integra
  • OVM certificate issued by the Job Centre West Flanders, a not-for-profit organisation.

REO Veiling is also investing heavily in communication and big data. The Care4Growing mobile app developed with partners is a good example of investment in technology aimed at raising competitiveness in the supply-chain.

Food surplus and waste management

REO Veiling is a pioneer in the fight against food waste in Europe. In 2017, it won the very first Food Waste Award, issued by FSE Networks in collaboration with OVAM and Komosie. Every year, REO Veiling sells about 250,000 tons of home-grown fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. To deal with food waste, it seeks useful partnerships for these products. In the first instance, surplus food goes to the food banks of West Flanders, East Flanders, Hainaut and Namur. As a result, 500,000kg of fresh fruit and vegetables, or an average of 1 articulated lorry trailer per week, is sent to underprivileged people every year. In addition, surplus waste is also re-used to feed animals. Indeed, REO Veiling is the only Flemish vegetable auction which is FCA-certified to reuse its products as animal fodder. And it is not only dairy cows from the same region that are fed with REO products, but also animals in Bellwaerde (animal and amusement park).

enVie combines food waste and social engagement

The social enterprise enVie now allows the Belgian people to enjoy delicious soups that are “full of commitment”: each bottle of soup is made in Brussels from surplus fresh Belgian vegetables by a motivated team of employees who, through the project, have become reintegrated into the labour market after a long period of unemployment. REO Veiling supplies surplus fresh vegetables to enVie, mainly those that are suitable for making soup (e.g. courgette, leek, celery, tomato, etc.). “As a grower’s cooperative, we believe in the absolute added value of cooperation to tackle issues such as sustainability and food waste. By working together with our various partners in a targeted way, we can still make use of surplus fruit and vegetables, which means added value for us as a producer, the social enterprise and ultimately also the consumer,” said Dominiek Keersebilck, commercial director of REO Veiling. Via this initiative, EnVie has created an extra sales channel for REO Veiling in its fight against food waste.

Vacuum cooler for leafy vegetables

REO Veiling has a vacuum cooler. A vacuum is created in the vacuum box. As a result, the water evaporates at room temperature. Together with the water, heat is extracted from the lettuce, as a result of which, it is quickly refrigerated and the product can be kept for much longer. This means that the lettuce can remain longer on store shelves or can be transported by lorry to remote destinations such as Spain and Italy. REO Veiling also encourages the use of multi-use packaging for its products. The packaging comes in virtually all colours, sizes and materials, based on the customer’s preferences.

Rapid growth in organics

Organics have registered rapid growth at the REO Veiling. The main product is organically certified Tomabel special mushroom. Other key products are leek and celeriac, as well as niche products like Babyleaf. “We will continue to grow in organics,” said Keersebilck.

REO Veiling turnover with organics

2017

€6 million

2018

€7.3 million

2019

€7.9 million

2020

€10.3million

Posted on

Interpom put back to November 2021

Interpom put back to November 2021

Despite the Belgian government authorising trade fairs to be held from 1 September 2020 provided they comply with the measures currently applicable to commerce, Kortrijk Xpo and Belgapom have jointly decided to postpone INTERPOM for a year until 28-30 November 2021 in Kortrijk Xpo.

INTERPOM has 326 exhibitors and 19,500 visitors from 49 countries. The international character of INTERPOM, the central role of the trade fair as a congenial meeting place for potato professionals, the many tasting sessions, the intensive preparation time for an event of this scope and the uncertainty regarding international travel – all these factors were taken into account by the organisation in the decision to move INTERPOM to November 2021 in the interests of all stakeholders.

A growing number of exhibitors have also indicated that November 2020 is too early to take optimum advantage of the revival of economic activity. The management/head offices located abroad have also stressed the existence of a prohibition on national and international commercial travel, participation in trade fairs and visits. At the moment, businesses in the potato sector are mainly preoccupied with reorganisation as they restart operations.

The coronavirus crisis has had a particularly large impact on the potato. The worldwide lockdown resulted in it not being possible to process part of the world’s available potatoes. There is a certain degree of recovery in many markets, but it is still not clear how the new season will evolve. Europe, meanwhile, continues to work towards a more sustainable world, and this includes the potato sector. The imminent Green Deal and potato storage without chemical inhibition of germination are a couple of illustrations that demonstrate that INTERPOM in 2021 will certainly be able to fulfil its role as a meeting platform in more suitable circumstances and thereby help stimulate the necessary recovery.

BELGAPOM, the recognised professional association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry, which is also the initiator of the fair, has this to say about the postponement:

Chairman of Belgapom, Marc van Herreweghe, said, “Exceptional times require exceptional decisions. The potato chain does not shrink from its responsibility even as we face these difficult times. As sector federation, we will of course continue to fully support INTERPOM and we look forward to the next edition in November 2021.”

Secretary of Belgapom, Romain Cools, said, “By definition, the potato chain is a sector in which personal contacts at both national and international levels are vitally important for all the operators involved. INTERPOM is much more than a trade fair; it is also an international meeting place for thousands of potato professionals. If INTERPOM is not able to guarantee these personal contacts for Belgian and international visitors, it seems only responsible to postpone the fair by a year. I am convinced that the November 2021 edition, more than ever, will be a building block for a strong, dynamic and sustainable Belgian and European potato chain.”

The structure of the fair is being maintained, only the dates are changing from November 2020 to 28, 29 and 30 November 2021. This postponed edition will be hybrid: the physical, on-site fair will be supplemented with an interactive, online platform (offering e.g. AI-based matchmaking, product pages, appointment modules, videoconferencing facilities, live and on-demand seminars, mobile apps, etc.).

Posted on

BelOrta: responsive strategies to generate value chains

BelOrta: Emmer karton 500gr pack © BELORTA
© BELORTA

 

BelOrta reacted promptly to find solutions for varieties affected by Covid-19, offering more packaging formats and consumer campaigns and continuing to increase organics and specialties.

 

Belgium’s leading vegetable auction worked hard and quickly to shift products to the retail channel that were left unsold due to the closure of the food service channel. New consumer packaging formats and in-store promotions were promptly introduced, particularly for asparagus, cucumber, and lettuce specialties like Lollo Bionda. Overall, demand for packed products rose sharply. Recycled PET punnets, which had already been successfully introduced, became the most popular. “We have seen a shift back to packaging for hygienic reasons,” said Jo Lambrecht, marketing manager at BelOrta. More sustainable solutions were also introduced, such as cardboard-based banderoles for organic vine tomato. With the rise of the snacking trend, BelOrta has accelerated its shift from plastic to carton solutions, and now offers 500g buckets of snack tomato, peppers, radish and blueberry.

 

Higher volumes of vegetables with better-quality

A survey conducted by GfK in Belgium found that 38% of consumers are eating more vegetables and less meat than they were five years ago. Indeed, retail vegetable sales increased 20% over the same period, according to Lambrecht. BelOrta, too, has seen Belgian consumers shift towards local vegetables. The GfK survey also found that 24% of consumers are eating more local vegetables, a phenomenon that has accelerated since the Covid-19 outbreak. “We have observed a growing interest in consumers looking for recipes, with a higher number of visits to our website https://www.belorta.be/keuken,” said Lambrecht. Meanwhile, BelOrta has strengthened its cooperation with public radio and TV to raise awareness of fresh fruits and vegetables and local produce. One such example is TV cooking programme Un Zeste Local, which uses BelOrta vegetables. The auction has also supported the opening of summer parks, such as with the creation of “The BelOrta Farm” vegetable corners at the Plopsaland theme parks. The goal is to educate young children by showing how vegetables are grown. Product tastings are also taking place in three parks.

 

© Eurofresh Distribution

 

BelOrta supplies the widest assortment

The Flemish Minister of Agriculture was in Borgloon for the launch of the cherry season. During the ceremony, a cheque was presented as a donation to cancer research.  The next BelOrta Product Show will be held on October 8-9, where customers worldwide are invited to come and taste all of the BelOrta products in a single location. The firm, which supplies over 50 tomato varieties, has introduced several new vegetable varieties this season, like Sopropo bitter melon, sugar snap peas, and edamame (sweet soybean). BelOrta has also launched new packaging formats, such as the 2kg cherry box, as well as other products packaged in top-seal rPET punnets. Packing capacity has been increased at the company’s Borgloon and Zellik centres, with new top-seal lines.

A major campaign to promote the consumption of peppers has been launched in France, with brochures and gifts given out to consumers at points of sale. Also, from July 1st, a TV campaign will run on FLAM to promote Belgium’s organic produce, including its fruit and vegetables. 

 

© Eurofresh Distribution

 

More berries, tomatoes and organics

The shift from strawberries to other berries continues. This has been aided by the introduction of new varieties to extend the cultivation cycle of raspberries and blueberries. BelOrta has also increased its winter production of tomato specialties, like vine tomato, beeftomatoes and Ruby Red, with 5ha more glasshouse area under light to a total area of 90 ha. The auction also proposes more winter cucumbers, in total 7ha under light. What’s more, BelOrta aims to start exporting organic produce this season. The auction now offers organic blueberries, with 25.5ha of certified plantation in production. It has also increased supplies of organic endives, cucumbers and leek.  

Posted on

First Belgian cherries of the new season are for the healthcare heroes from Sint-Trudo hospital in Sint-Truiden

First Belgian cherries of the new season are for the healthcare heroes from Sint-Trudo hospital in Sint-Truiden
© BFV
PRESS RELEASE

 

Sint-Truiden, June 2, 2020 – After this Pentecost weekend, the first Belgian cherries from Hoepertingen (Haspengouw) were auctioned at BFV in Sint-Truiden and donated to the healthcare heroes of the Covid-19 department of the Sint-Trudo hospital by fruit grower Theo Jammaers. The cherries are from an early tunnel cultivation of Bellise and Samba, the new early maturing varieties in cherry cultivation. These varieties have firm flesh and a sweet taste.

For health reasons, Theo had to quit the fruit company Fancy Fruit a few years ago, which he ran with his wife Marleen. During that period when he was hospitalized in Sint-Trudo hospital, he was very well cared for by the hospital staff and now he has the opportunity to give something back to them. Cherries have always been his favorite fruit and he never misses an opportunity to introduce others to his passion.

Theo set up the tunnel cultivation ten years ago to offer early cherries as a first at the Plant Days of Castle Hex in Heers, during the second weekend of June. This year everything is different, but together with the good weather and the beautiful region, Haspengouw, it is good to enjoy juicy Belgian cherries!

 

For more information, you can contact:
Karel Belmans,
Field Coordinator BFV
karel.belmans@bfv.be

Posted on

Largest container ship in the world calls on Port of Antwerp

Largest container ship in the world calls on Port of Antwerp, © Port of Antwerp
© Port of Antwerp
PRESS RELEASE

 

The container ship HMM Algeciras arrived at the Port of Antwerp last Thursday night to load and unload containers at the North Sea Terminal of container handler PSA. It is the newest and largest container ship in the world.

The ship can carry 23,964 TEU (20-foot containers). The Korean ship was delivered on 24 April by the shipyard Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering’s Okpo. It is 400 metres long, 61 metres wide and has 23 crew members. The ship is from Yantian (China) and departs for London on Saturday 13 June at 5:30am.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: “At the Port of Antwerp, we are resilient. We remained 100% operational during the pandemic, and while we will also see the effects of the coronavirus crisis on our figures, we continue to look ahead with faith in the future. We are delighted to welcome the HMM Algeciras. In doing so, we are showing that our port can receive the largest container ships. This puts Antwerp in a good position for further up-scaling. It is our ambition to continue to grow as a port in a sustainable way, with a finger firmly on the pulse of the global economic situation.”

Jae-hoon Bae, President and CEO of HMM: “Last April was very important for HMM because of two historic events. One of these was the completion of our rebranding process, with the adoption of our official company name ‘HMM’. The other was the delivery of HMM Algeciras, the world’s largest 24K-class container ship. The debut of HMM Algeciras in Europe and the first call at the Port of Antwerp has enormous symbolic significance. I believe that 24K-class ships will serve to ensure a mutual partnership between the Port of Antwerp and HMM.”

Annick De Ridder, port alderman: “Our port continues to dedicate itself successfully to sustainable growth and the arrival of the largest container ship in the world, the HMM Algeciras, is a great recognition of this. It is an incentive that continues to encourage us to carry on building tomorrow’s port today. This is the only way that world players will continue to choose our city as their gateway to Europe.”

Posted on

Challenges to maintaining Belgium’s fresh produce supply

Challenges to maintaining Belgium’s fresh produce supply, © Le Soir.be
© Le Soir.be

 

Supplying Belgium with fresh fruit and vegetables is getting harder with each passing day of the current coronavirus outbreak. The sector is also facing potential stagnation in consumption, as households’ budgets run out before the end of the month.

Belgium’s agri-food industry is struggling without sufficient people to work in the packing stations and to harvest products like asparagus. Belgian importers are being inventive and doing what they can to supply consumers. But logistics involving other countries are now immensely complicated, with planes grounded. This means there is a shortage of some kinds of healthy exotics such as sun-ripened pineapple and mango. While there is still papaya for now, these supplies won’t last long when connections with Brazil end this week. Fortunately, there are still kiwis, oranges and lemons to provide vitamin C, and fruit with anti-oxidants such as blueberries and pomegranates. However, as there are hardly any imports arriving in Belgium from Italy, even these fruits are likely to see a drop in availability.

Posted on

Ecommerce in Belgium worth €8.2 billion in 2019

Ecommerce in Belgium worth €8.2 billion in 2019

Belgium’s online retail sector generated a total turnover of €8.2 billion in 2019 – an increase of 17% compared to 2018. Much of these gains have been made thanks to purchases by foreign consumers, who contributed 25% of the total earnings. The sector spies plenty of opportunities, especially in Germany and with the spread of the fall-out of the coronavirus.

Belgium’s webshops are highly multilingual. The number of transactions was up 22% to 85 million in 2019, with the number of online sellers rising 20% to 29,000. The main foreign market for Belgium’s ecommerce is France (28%), followed by the Netherlands (18%), the United Kingdom (9.5%) and Germany (7.5%).

 
Source: SafeShops/The House of Marketing

 

Posted on

Belgium steps up exports of Conference pears to China

In November, the largest Belgian trade mission ever travelled to China, in part to promote the country’s exports of Conference pear. Despite China being the world’s largest producer of pears, Chinese consumers love Belgian Conference pears, which were first introduced to the country in 2010, with export volumes rising steadily.

This growth has come off the back of a series of promotional initiatives aimed at familiarising the Chinese with Flemish pears, including tastings, as well as a specially designed red packaging for the Chinese market. These boxes are smaller, so the freshness of the product is not compromised.

In 2010, around 19 tons of Belgian pears were exported to China. By 2018, the volume had reached around 3,324 tons (€4.4 million). This makes China Belgium’s second market after Norway. In 2018, VLAM organised tastings in 18 different Chinese cities. The majority of these took place in Shenzhen and Beijing. There were also campaigns in other major cities such as Guangzhou and Shanghai. For the tasting sessions, VLAM collaborated with 8 different supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Walmart, Sam’s Club and AEON. In total VLAM planned 2,588 tasting days in 2018, with which 517,146 consumers were reached. In the first half of 2019, VLAM held 2,423 tastings.

 

 

(Photo credit: Pxhere)
Posted on

Belgium broadens its range and expands the season of fresh produce

Belgium broadens its range and expands the season of fresh produce

 

The international business of fresh fruits and vegetables is always the result of the game of nature, influenced by market evolutions, such as snburst, hail damage, trade agreements and an upcoming Brexit. Lots of uncertainties that may affect the trade of fresh produce. But Belgian suppliers always look for the best solution to meet the demands of their international customers. Their personal service and flexibility are after all part of the DNA of a Belgian entrepreneur. Also, Belgian producers are focusing on a high and uniform quality level and invest in production methods to minimise the effect of fluctuating weather conditions, e.g. covered fruit production, LED greenhouse production, and the development of new varieties.

Belgian vegetables: specialties and year-round production on the rise

In 2018, total Belgian vegetable production reached over 1.6 million tons, 23% of which was accounted for by greenhouse production. In 2020, the Flandria label celebrates its 25th birthday. And because standing still is going backwards, this year the Flandria partners are rethinking the label to be ready for the future. The key focus remains the quality of the products. Thanks to the intense cooperation of the Belgian auctions, customers can count on a wide and uniform supply of Belgian vegetables. For example, there is an annual research programme that determines which varieties can be offered in a certain Flandria segment. In addition to taste and shelf life, colour, for example, is also a decisive criterion in the selection. With Belgian tomatoes, customers can f.i. always count on a beautiful deep red colour.
Consumers who look for an extra taste experience usually make a choice among the specialties. As a result, the acreage of tomato specialities is growing strongly and now amounts to more than 100 ha. In addition to the evolution towards specialities, the Belgian production sector is also committed to expanding the season. This year, the illuminated cultivation already amounts to 25% of the tomato production, accounting for 120 ha.

Fruit production is widening 

Belgian fruit production focuses on pears, apples and strawberries and still remains a leading player on the international fruit market. 

Belgian strawberries are doing well, as we see production rise with 5%. And also the wider berry assortment is growing on a healthy speed. These high-value products are increasingly produced in a covered way, limiting the influence of weather conditions and extending the season.

For apples & pears the production is mainly in open field. Although the top fruit sector has been hit pretty hard by difficult climatic circumstances, apple production is back to what it was in 2016 and overcame the sharp decrease of 2017. 

The pear production suffered less from the frost and had a rather normal season. Last year, the country’s pear production rose to around 10,000 ha, representing 15,5% of total European pear production. 

The Belgian apple basket is diversifying strongly, to meet the different costumer’s preferences. The pear market is smaller, and Belgium is well known for its famous Conference pears. They are an especially well-known Belgian specialty, as Belgian producers can produce the Conference variety on a very efficient way. Thanks to its long shelf life and long storage possibilities, this pear offers interesting opportunities for the trade. About 88% of Europe’s pear production is concentrated in only six countries: Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Portugal. Total European pear production was estimated at 2,4 million tons in 2018, an increase of 6% in comparison with 2017. The Belgian market share has been increasing since 2010, to eventually hit a 15% mark and stabilized since 2014. Moreover, this year Belgium is looking at a 15,5% share. 

More export volume

Since the Russian ban, the Belgian fruit sector is working hard to increase exports to other and new markets and this is paying off; the pear industry was able to stabilize their export  in 2018  and again in the first 9 months of 2019. 

The situation was less positive for apples in 2017 due to the bad weather conditions. Nonetheless, the export is picking up in 2019 and export volumes rose with 68% in the first 9 months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.  It’s clear that apples and pears remain Belgium’s key export fruits. 

Within the Belgian export of fresh vegetables, tomatoes are the top products. Also Belgian leeks, cucumbers, cabbages and bell peppers are highly demanded in other countries. Generally speaking, export of Belgian fresh vegetables is on the rise again after a cautious 2018 with higher prices, which slowed trade. 2019 is already looking good, we notice a 17% increase for the first nine months of 2019, compared to the same period of 2018, mainly fuelled by rising exports of tomatoes, leek and chicory. 

Belgian fresh fruits more popular in Eastern Europe

The main export markets for Belgian fresh fruit in 2018 are the European markets (94%), with its neighbouring countries making up the top 4. In the period January till September 2019, Belgium’s first export destination for fresh fruit was The Netherlands (21%). France came second (17%), closely followed by Germany (15%) and the United Kingdom (12%).

Remarkable within the Belgian export of fresh fruit in 2018 is the strong rise of the Eastern European markets, represented mainly by Estonia and Lithuania; which are respectively taking 5th and 6th place. When we compare the first nine months of 2018 and 2019, we can see that the fruit export to Lithuania increased with 5%. Exports to Estonia even nearly double in volume. And also Spain is jumping on the bandwagon with a double digit growth, clearly enchanted by our Belgian apples. But also markets further away, like China and Brazil, are getting more important for our Belgian fruit exporters. This is due to the success of the conference pear in this region and promotional campaigns to these markets are clearly showing results. 

France and Holland top vegetable markets

With a share of 99%, we can say that for the Belgian export of fresh vegetables the European markets remain the most important in 2018. And in particular our neighbouring countries, which account for 82% of our export volumes. The Netherlands are the main market for Flandria vegetables (28% in the period January till September 2019), before France (25%) and Germany (20%). Luxemburg (6%) notes a sudden increase in demand for Belgian vegetables and now occupies fourth place. The United Kingdom (5%) and Spain (5%) complete the top 5 with a shared place. Also for Belgian vegetables  the demand from the Eastern European markets is rising; especially in Poland and Czech Republic. Main markets within the third countries are the United States and Switzerland.

Belgian fresh imports remain stable 

Belgium is an important producer of strawberries, apples and pears, and is net exporter for these products. The imported volumes are mainly originating from the Netherlands. For tropical fruits however, Belgium has to import from third countries, like Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. With our international Port of Antwerp and our international Airport in Brussels, Belgium has fluent connections with production areas and trade all over the world.

For fresh vegetables Belgium is a net importer, as there, our important industry of frozen vegetables demands more than the country can produce. The Netherlands, Spain and France are by far the main suppliers. Imported products are mainly carrots, onions, peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cabbages. 

VLAM moves together with other Belgian exhibitors to hall 27

Those who want to meet the Belgian exhibitors at Fruit Logistica will find them from 2020 in the brand new exhibition hall 27, at stand number A7 – A12. The exhibition organiser is starting a renewal process, which means that VLAM and other Belgian exhibitors will have to move from their familiar spot in hall 6.2 to the new hall 27. There, the Belgian presence will be more concentrated from now on. 

VLAM prepared a striking presence in hall 27 with a new exhibition concept. From now on, visitors will be welcomed in a cosy VLAM stand made of warm wood, sleek black steel and colourful images. Another new feature is that the 31 companies of potatoes, fruit & vegetables and fruit trees will from now on be all together in one VLAM pavilion. What doesn’t change is that trade relations are still welcome for a fresh Belgian beer in the VLAM booth, so from now on in hall 27!

Posted on

Colruyt carves out even larger market share in Belgium

Colruyt carves out even larger market share in Belgium

 

Belgian retailer Colruyt recorded a 2.8% rise in its revenues in the period from 1st April to 30th September 2019, according to ESM. With turnover reaching €4.7 million, Colruyt now holds almost a third (32.5%) of Belgium’s retail market. The chain operates stores under the Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Spar banners. Its core Colruyt business in Belgium and Luxembourg recorded a 1.4% rise in revenue, thanks to new store openings and store expansions, as well as a focus on the rollout of electronic price labelling. Colruyt’s French operations also saw an increase in revenues, of 11.9%.

In its press release, Colruyt states that the firm does “not anticipate a significant upturn in the economic climate for the consumer in Belgium in the short term. Colruyt Group expects consumer confidence to remain slightly positive in France.”

TAGS: Colruyt, retail, Belgium