The Verduyn family company grows what customers want

Verduyn Kortemark

Tholen - Verduyn, a Belgian vegetable grower which was established in 1950, became an international player with a workforce of 70 employees over the years. The company grows, washes, sorts, packs, cuts and sells all kinds of fresh vegetables. Carrots are its speciality. Verduyn is a real family company, which is run by Daniël and Rita Verduyn.  Their sons Nicolas and Alexander and their daughter Valerie also work in the company. Nicolas runs the vegetable holding. The company focuses on four pillars. Its main business is its agricultural service, and then it has three target groups, namely processing, fresh market and food service.

Daniël tells us more about the company's history. "Verduyn is a 100% family company. In the Fifties, my father Gabriël Gaston Verduyn started growing vegetables for processing. The Verduyn company was established in 1975, and Daniël joined the business a few years later. "I was responsible for the sales side, while my father Gabriël was in charge of production. Over the years, we made several investments, including in new buildings, plants, water purification, sorting machines and production lines. We also acquired several companies, mainly in the region. This helped our fresh market division grow. We obtained all the certifications we need to fulfil our customers' quality requirements. We also have international operations. We started in France in 1988 and have been growing vegetables in Spain since 2007. We process all the vegetables in Belgium. France is where we have our carrot operation, while Spain produces potatoes. Agriculture is our most important division. That's where everything happens. We keep in touch with the growers. Every product that is grown is used in our company. The volumes and products are divided across the divisions."

Currently we have an output of 130 to 140,000 tons of vegetables
per year for the group as a whole.

"After acquiring several companies, we now have a very large target group, which has been subdivided into the groups I listed.  Customers include catering establishments, food service and retailers. We continue to grow every year,” Alexander says. Currently we have an output of 130 to 140,000 tons of vegetables per year for the group as a whole. All our branches in Belgium, France and Spain have grown in 2013, some more than others. We export our products to about twenty countries in and outside Europe. The countries change every year and this is largely due to the production there. The great advantage for us is that we work in a closed chain and can influence all the aspects of the process. So we can control and adapt where necessary, and take a flexible approach to growers and customers. They mainly appreciate Verduyn because of our knowledge and because we can supply them quickly. In terms of volume, 45% is used for processing while 35% is bound for the fresh market."

We find it important to not generate any excess production as a company.

 "We find it important to not generate any surplus production as a company. We grow vegetables to the customer's demand and also work with an international cooperative, called Green Farm.  It was established to help growers position themselves, allowing them to supply products as group. We often discuss the production of vegetables with the cooperative. The same applies to the specifications and requirements our products must fulfil. Our philosophy is to grow what the customer wants. When we started supplying vegetables to the processing industry, we taught ourselves this, although it is a little more difficult to stick to our mission for the free market (fresh market).  We also try to grow along with our customers and generate a volume increase as a result." 

Verduyn will be at Fruit Logistica in Hall 22, F-09.

 

Author: Gertrude Snoei
Copyright: www.agf.nl