‘Taking part in this development is not voluntary, but mandatory.’

Harrij Schmeitz, Fresh Informationmanagement Center
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‘Taking part in this development is not voluntary, but mandatory.’

Entrepreneurs have to jump on the online bandwagon, says Harrij Schmeitz, the director of Fresh Informationmanagement Center (FIC). The objective of FIC is to make the fresh produce sector stronger, more efficient and safer, and to successfully launch innovative developments on the market.

Schmeitz calls the online world an entirely new world. ‘I am comparing it to the emergence of the convenience market. This market was created by a group of pioneers who started chopping and packaging vegetables in a shed. In the course of time, this niche grew into a full-fledged market. The online market will be undergoing a similar development.’

‘I am comparing it to the emergence of the convenience market. This market was created by a group of pioneers who started chopping and packaging vegetables in a shed.'

According to Schmeitz, this is the reason why FIC launched the Fresh ONLINE Pack project. This project is exploring ways to promote the online market for fresh fruit and vegetables. The results are shared with the corporate world through ‘Innovation Circle Meetings’.

Quality and perception

According to Schmeitz, young people’s increasing tendency to opt for convenience offers plenty of opportunities for boosting the online sale of fresh consumer products. ‘However, this development could lead to negative results if we are unable to offer good quality products and adequately contribute to customer perception. Additionally, this niche is faced with a great deal of international competition. Acceptance with regard to the online sale of fresh consumer products will be faster in one country than in another. Just consider the Asian market in this respect!’

'The question is whether the enterprises currently operating in this sector will continue to survive at all. New parties are tapping into this market, also from outside.'

The Director of FIC believes that taking part in this development is not voluntary, but mandatory. ‘As a sector, we need to develop a strategy to cope with the changing market. The question is whether the enterprises currently operating in this sector will continue to survive at all. New parties are tapping into this market, also from outside. A new market is emerging, with new players and existing players that are undergoing a transformation. You have to hop on the bandwagon or you’ll miss the boat!’

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Text: Tuinbouwteksten.nl/Ank van Lier. Photo: FIC.

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