Greenyard sources its fruit and vegetables from a very extensive network of highly dedicated growers around the world. “To ensure that some of our most popular and in-demand categories are available all year round, we are strengthening our strategic co-operations with the world’s greatest growers”, says Sander Moret, Category Manager for Mango.
Greenyard has been working with many of its growers on a permanent basis for many years, in some cases even decades. These long-standing collaborations can take on many forms, from guaranteed volumes and contract growing to full-blown joint ventures. “They can also include training programs on more efficient and more sustainable agricultural practices. By stimulating technological innovation and investing in long-term relationships, many of our growers have had the opportunity to build a healthy and stable business. For Greenyard, the long-term relationships improve efficiency of supplies, availability of produce and transparency for customers.”
“Our strong ties with some of the world’s greatest growers, we secure year-round availability of our products. But it also has a positive impact on the sustainability of our supply chain: reducing waste and ensuring a stable financial income for growers.”
- Sander Moret, Category Manager for Mango
Building on experience
As we are moving into long-term, more strategic relationships with our customers, it becomes increasingly important to invest in equally strong relationships with our growers. “Trading on a day-to-day basis and buying the cheapest product available is simply not an option. Supplying our customers all year round implies so much more than simply picking up the phone to Peru.”
Greenyard’s responsibility is to secure quality and ensure availability of products for our markets and customers. In addition, we have a responsibility towards our suppliers to sell their products in the best possible way. Through our strategic partnerships we are better able to predict what volumes will be requested by our clients. It allows our growers to better plan their productions. This is important for all the products we buy and sell, but even more for categories that are in high demand, such as mangos or avocados.
Greenyard has been working in this way for several years and many initiatives have already been taken. There are extensive sourcing programs in place for citrus, Pink Lady apples and avocados. “We are now building on these positive experiences to turn them into a more systematic approach and take our sourcing strategy to the next level”, says Sander Moret.
One important aspect is the sharing of knowledge within our company. “As a category manager, I am in close daily contact with the product managers in our entities to discuss their needs”, says Sander Moret. “We organise weekly meetings to discuss market developments, quality feedback and product availability. We also involve our local sourcing connections. This internal alignment provides a big advantage for our growers: they get one clear message from the group. Using consumer insight and forecasting, we are also able to better predict what volumes will be needed, allowing growers to plan ahead.”
"We have started our smart sourcing program with a clear focus on overseas sourcing and a number of in-demand categories. The goal is to extend our approach to all sourcing efforts within Greenyard, including domestic sourcing. By doing so, we will set a new standard in the market, I’m sure."
- Sander Moret, Category Manager for Mango
The whole tree
Fruit and vegetables are products of nature. They come in different sizes and different qualities and their availability depends on many unpredictable elements such as weather conditions. “It means growers always run the risk to get stuck with parts of their harvest”, explains Sander Moret. “Because Greenyard is a large supplier of fruit and vegetables, we sell our fruit and vegetables in different markets with different preferences. Therefore, we can offer our growers a complete solution for the whole tree and not just one specific size or quality. Thanks to our unique combination of Fresh, Frozen and Prepared divisions, we even have solutions for products that cannot be sold fresh but are perfect for other applications, such as deep-frozen mango parts. It allows us to significantly reduce waste throughout the entire supply chain.”
Offering more transparency
Long-term partnerships with growers enable Greenyard to meet another increasingly relevant requirement in today’s markets. “There is a clear need for more transparency throughout the chain”, says Sander Moret. “And it is more than just the regulatory aspect. People genuinely want to know where the fruit and vegetables they are buying come from. This means it’s important to be transparent on how products are grown, how they were transported and how farmers were compensated for their work. Thanks to the stable and direct connection with our growers, it becomes a lot easier to answer these questions quickly and faithfully.”
“We have started our smart sourcing program with a clear focus on overseas sourcing and a number of in-demand categories. The goal is to extend our approach to all sourcing efforts within Greenyard, including domestic sourcing. By doing so, we will set a new standard in the market, I’m sure”, concludes Sander Moret.