"Dutch onions are in good demand in Germany," says Jaap van Dijk, of Más Frutas. For more than half a year, this experienced trader has been working to find high quality products that his, mostly German, relations need. While he is mainly specialized in exclusive products, Jaap says that 'traditional' Dutch vegetables have become very popular on the German market since January.
"Normally I look for exclusive, high-quality products, which can be very challenging," says Jaap. "However, I never expected onions to become the main part of my business right now. They have been very popular in Germany since January/February. They have usually been a by-product for me, but now I'm doing about 60-70 pallets a week, which is just a lot for me. It is a carefree trade. That change is nice for me, too."
The reason for the popularity of Dutch-sourced onions there, according to Jaap, lies in the high prices of Spanish onions. "Normally Germany imports mostly thick Spanish onions, but these are easily about 6 to 7 Euro per bag more expensive. This is causing them to look for alternatives, and we can offer that to them. So you see, there is always a product that can make you big," laughs Jaap.
In addition to onions, the trader is currently working a lot with grapes. "That's just very challenging at the moment. I try to find the hidden gems from Egyptian and Moroccan producers, but it's not that easy. In Italy I don't have much to look for, because I have to work among the big traders, and that's very difficult there. If you find good grapes among the normally inferior quality ones from Egypt and Morocco, you can consider yourself a winner."
Jaap certainly doesn't regret choosing to start his own business. "It has been crazy busy. I had almost no rest in the first six months and have a lot to thank to my son for his help. However, he is also going back to studying full-time, but will continue to help me in the business part-time every now and then."
"The hustle and bustle is wonderful, of course, but it's time for a little rest. What is helping a lot now is the assistance from the staff at Fidor Accountants, which is allowing me to really focus on my profession. Nevertheless, I'm also going to take a break soon." However, he points out that even then the work will continue, "but then sitting under a lovely sun. After that, I can devote myself one hundred percent to my relations again."