From a small green grocers shop in the 1880s, to Europe’s biggest fresh produce company with €3.2 billion turnover in 2013, Total Produce is a stunning success story — and the Netherlands plays an important role.
“We grow, pack, market and distribute every known fresh fruit and vegetable,” explained Vincent Dolan, European Marketing Manager for the Total Produce Group. “We serve the retail, wholesale and food service sectors through an extensive network across 20 countries. Our growth strategy has been M&A inspired — our first international acquisition was in the UK but the second was in the Netherlands in 1995.”
“The Netherlands is hugely important to us. It is one of Europe’s largest fresh produce producing nations while Rotterdam is one of the world’s most important fresh produce importation and distribution hubs with excellent facilities and infrastructure. To companies looking to expand overseas, I would have to say, our experience in dealing with the Dutch has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Dolan.
“Our Dutch businesses contribute one-third of Total Produce’s group turnover and at the height of the production season, we employ around 1,600 people in the Netherlands. However, being in the Netherlands adds more value to our business than just sales and turnover. It makes us not only a bigger company, but a better company — our Dutch colleagues play an important role across the broader group,” continued Dolan.
“For us, the Netherlands represents an important gateway to Europe where we grow, consolidate and add value, before distributing produce to the continent as a whole. In our experience, the Netherlands represents a reliable benchmark for the rest of Europe; if our products and services work there, they will likely work in other countries.”
“The Netherlands has the right people, fantastic infrastructure, a network of local and global growers, and they’re always open to new customers and markets. The Netherlands is at the heart of our business in every sense; being there has made us a better company,” concluded Dolan.