Being distinctive starts with production; this is the basis of our fresh produce chain. Our Production and Sourcing department is proactively involved in production and innovative cultivation concepts on a daily basis. This includes, amongst others, new methods of cultivation and product innovations that meet the needs of our clients and those of the end consumer. To this end, it is essential to work closely with partners in the chain such as seed companies, manufacturers of production resources, and knowledge institutes.
Close collaboration with seed companies enables us to carry a number of exclusive breeds with highly specific characteristics. The breed of bobby beans we cultivate is characterised by an absence of the ‘stringy’ structure of the bean and reduced cooking time. We select the breeds according to qualities favoured by consumers such as flavour, shelf life, colour and appearance. Naturally, production characteristics such as susceptibility to disease, harvestability of the product, and net yields are also important selection criteria.
Our own production companies
Production is a unique area that requires a great deal of specialist expertise. Establishing a production company in Africa is pioneering by definition. The founder of the company, Karel van Oers, knows this better than anyone does. The right climate zones, soil type, water quality and local management are factors critical to the success of an overseas company. In addition, various environmental factors also play a vital role.
In addition to the Netherlands, Van Oers United has established production sites in Morocco and Senegal. We owe the success of our international production sites to international collaboration in which the strength of local teams is utilised to the full. Knowledge and experience are utilised intensively from cultivation to processing to shipment. This combination ensures that prevailing quality standards are integrated at production level and that we are able to offer our products as optimally and fresh as possible.
The range at our overseas sites has expanded exponentially in recent years. We first started with bobby beans and the range now consists of helda beans, sugar snaps, mangetout, fine beans, spring onions, radish, sweetcorn, sweet point capsicums, bell capsicums, vine tomatoes and more. A very important benefit of this expansion of our range is that Van Oers United is able to rotate crops, which dovetails with our aspirations in terms of sustainable entrepreneurship.
Consistency with partner production companies
In addition to its own production companies, Van Oers United maintains successful partnerships with other production companies nationally and abroad. This combination ensures an ironclad whole as far as quality assurance and risk management. If the offering, quality or methodology does not meet the needs of our clients, we plan accordingly with our own Production and Sourcing department in terms of own production.
Cultivation for today and tomorrow
Cultivation means working in harmony with nature and managing natural resources responsibly. We do this in various ways, starting with the selection of a production region that offers the best growing conditions. After all, the more spontaneously and naturally a crop grows, the fewer infestation and disease control measures are necessary. After selection of the area, we carefully consider whether the combination of these factors offers a sustainable production profile. Important factors that are always taken into consideration are: water management, the potential for implementation of ‘Integrated Pest Management’, total energy consumption from cultivation to client, and the potential for crop rotation.