Jack Aartsen owner and chief executive at Breda Based fresh fruit and vegetable supplier Aartsen, speaks to EUROFRUIT about his company’s recent success, major expansion plans for 2018 and why he is all about ‘nonstopfresh’.
What have been the major developments or most interesting pieces of news at your company in the past year?
Jack Aartsen: Aartsen is continuing its rapid growth! This is the third year in a row in which we have undergone explosive growth. We have seen this in all four of our branches, in both the Benelux and in Asia, which is something we can be proud of.
What have your key or growth products/services been in 2017?
Jack Aartsen: We are a very boring organisation - haha! – because we stick to our strategy, which has once again proved successful. We deal with a huge assortment of fruits and vegetables, sourced directly from over 40 countries worldwide. You name it, we sell it! Our focus is on customers throughout the Benelux area, and not just on the retail channel. A continuous flow of the most amazing products, straight from our partners to our clients – that is what we call ‘nonstopfresh’. Our strategy is also bearing fruit in Asia, where we are growing by leaps and bounds. Our branch in Asia is now contributing to the overall strategy of the group, and we strongly augment one another.
What trends have you noticed in the past year across your markets?
Jack Aartsen: There will always be trends, and it is our job to keep following them. The customer decides what the customer wants. There is an increasing trend towards ripened fruit, but I believe that all trends are part of a single larger trend – taste!
This has been slowly but steadily building and advancing for several years now. Consumers have had enough of bland fruits and vegetables and they are right.
Looking to the year ahead, what does it hold in store for Aartsen?
Jack Aartsen: Due to our incredible growth over the past three years, our organisation is on the precipice of several big changes. Our headquarters in Breda will be enlarged to three times its current size and the warehouse in Breda will also be expanded, with more cooling capacity and a new packaging warehouse. In January, we will make a start on adding 3,000 m2 of storage capacity to our warehouse in Venlo. It is wonderful that we are able to take these measures once more. However, our greatest challenge at the moment is related to ICT - That is where our focus will lie in 2018.
How would you describe your ongoing philosophy?
Jack Aartsen: Aartsen is ‘nonstopfresh’, and we aim to stay that way. We are continually working on quality, both in terms of our product and our organisation, and have been for over 110 years! ‘We are the gateway for fruits and vegetables; thanks for flying with us’.
Bron: Eurofruit Magazine / Carl Collen