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BelOrta: responsive strategies to generate value chains

BelOrta: Emmer karton 500gr pack © 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,” 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.  

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“Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships” workshop

"Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships" workshop

FiBL workshop “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships” focused yesterday morning (13/02/2020) on how to foster and finance the breeding and the selection of organic varieties. It was organised with the collaboration of Eurofresh Distribution magazine, OPTA, Cotton Accelerator and Econatura.

Still less than 30% of organic crops come from organic seed & plants in Europe (less than 10% worldwide). Major changes shall happen by 2036 to fulfill with the new EU regulation.

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Workshop at BIOFACH2020: “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships”

Workshop at BIOFACH2020: “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships”

FIBL & EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION are happy to invite you at BIOFACH2020 workshop: “Boosting the organic sector by integrating breeding into value chain partnerships”.

Date: 13.02.2020

Time: 11:00 – 11:45

Location: Room Prag, NCC Ost Mitte of Nuremberg

More info at:


It is organized by FiBL Europe within the launch in 2020 of the initiative “ENGAGEMENT.BIOBREEDING – Engagement of the organic value-chain to support Organic Breeding in Europe”.


This workshop will give the occasion to discuss potential models that allow a secure and stable funding for organic animal and plant breeding in Europe. Panel speakers are Pierre Escodo (editor of EUROFRESH DISTRIBUTION magazine), Bavo van den Idsert advisor at OPTA (Organic Processing and Trade Association Europe), Mathilde Tournebize program officer at the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Fabio Brescacin president of EconaturaSi, Mariateresa Lazzaro FIBL Plant Breeding program coordinator.


With this initiative, FIBL aims at integrating organic breeding into value-chain partnerships and sharing responsibility among breeders, farmers, processers, retailers, traders and consumers for upscaling organic breeding and ensuring future food security and quality.

FiBL Europe will offer a platform for promoting value-chain partnerships supporting organic animal and plant breeding in Europe for ensuring the integrity of organic products and strengthening consumer confidence.


Please register to our workshop at

For any further information you can also send an e-mail to

Source: Press release