With the introduction of organically grown orange pumpkins from South Africa, Q-cape offers a sustainable and tasty product to retailers in the Netherlands and Germany. Director Leo Stoker of the Dronten-based trading company says that growing pumpkins in South Africa provides benefits as compared to operations in Europe and South America.
The first shipping containers of the orange product will arrive in the Netherlands in February. Then the pumpkins will be washed and graded in Flevoland. Traditionally, the trading company has good contacts with growers of vegetables and fruit in South Africa. Q-cape frequently visits these production businesses to make specific arrangements about growing, delivery and organisation. This collaboration has many benefits. First of all, the climate in South Africa is ideal in Stoker’s opinion: ‘We have set up collaborations in several crop-growing areas there, each with their own sub-climate. Consequently, we can benefit from favourable growing conditions over a longer period of time, which means that that we can provide a stable, quality supply. Pumpkins from South Africa are distinctively sweet, which makes them particularly tasty’.
Responsible crop growth and overall management
Q-cape not only looks at the end product; responsible processes and conditions are also key. For example, the crop cultures are in keeping with European quality standards, and personnel work in proper conditions. Another benefit is that transport times are shorter than those for imports from other parts of the world under similar circumstances. Stoker expects a rapid growth in the collaboration: ‘There is an increasing demand for this product. It is a good, honest product and consumers are constantly finding new ways to use it. It’s not just about soup; pumpkins are also ideal for salads or on the BBQ’.