In the second week of January, Angus Soft Fruits Europe received their first shipment of Spanish blueberries - the harvest normally starts late January. The originally Scottish company ASF has supplied soft fruit to British retailers since 1994, and works with growers all over the world by means of their own production programme. Edward van den Eijnden was given the chance to open a branch in the Netherlands for Angus in 2015, and he looks back on a good start: “I did everything on my own in the first years, but we now have an enthusiastic team working from Ridderkerk. I’m proud of that.”
Last week, the first blueberries per container arrived at Angus. “This wasn’t the first time this year; earlier, the berries were flown in. We’re expecting large volumes from Chile in coming weeks. This will probably not affect prices much. Total production in Chile is 10 per cent lower than normally. Demand is good.”
The company was the first to receive Spanish blueberries: “Last week we received the first pallets of Spanish blueberries. Quality is considerably better than of Chilean berries. This is mostly due to the shorter transport time. Later we’ll also have organic blueberries available.”
“Because Asia is becoming an ever-larger buyer, the market division is changing. Production is still expanding globally, and I think demand will continue to increase. Competition is tough. We have to be distinctive in quality, service and price to become a reliable player for final buyers. In addition to the goodwill factor, of course,” Edward concludes.