“This is where the industry can learn when it comes to healthy eating”
The time has finally come – the Dutch company Van Gelder Groente en Fruit’s Experience Center is open. This is where the industry can learn from what is possible with healthy eating. “Visitors are welcome every day Monday through Friday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. They can dive into the world of healthy food, flavor and sustainability. When you step outside you will be fully inspired. You will know what is going on. can be done with fruit and vegetables, and of course there is a lot to taste, ”begins Gerrit van Gelder.
Van Gelder’s automated warehouse shuttles are once again hard at work filling orders. The reopening of the hotel sector has benefited sales. Van Gelder moved to new premises just after COVID-19 hit the Netherlands. He had always wanted to show the warehouse at work in all its glory. Finally, this long cherished wish has come true. “There was a temporary recovery last summer. We assume that we can now continue to deliver fully. “
The advanced shuttle system is good for 52,000 storage sites. It is operated by 92 ADAPTO. At the workstation, the order picker receives the products in crates. Completed orders are immediately returned to the cold room. When it’s time. orders are automatically prepared at the dock. Thanks to millions of euros of investment, the company, which had 250 operators, now has 15. The temporary workers have been made redundant. But, there are now a lot of new vacancies in the fully automated warehouse, 24/7.
Added value for chefs
Van Gelder Groente en Fruit’s new building is a showcase in more ways than one. Last weekend, for example, saw the long-awaited opening of the Experience Center. “No matter how automated our warehouse is, we’re not talking about products like cauliflower, cucumber and iceberg lettuce. This is not where our added value lies. That’s why we invite members of the hospitality industry to come and be inspired, ”Gerrit continues.
“We want to show them how they can attractively present healthy products. We offer the experience and try to pass it on to the chefs. They always leave with information and recipes with which they can distinguish themselves. Chefs must provide their guests with an excellent culinary experience. . Then they are sure to come back. “
Visitors can also see the latest fruit and vegetable gadgets. “For example, lettuce in rolls. These come from the plant production units of PlantLab. There are herb cultivation tours. People can get ideas from Pick-and-Joy vegetable plants from Vreugdenhil. pay a visit to the publisher Fresh Plaza for a hot sandwich. It contained shredded jackfruit, Greek coleslaw, wasabi vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds, ”says Van Gelder.
“Members of the public as well as businesses and customers are welcome. They can come and enjoy a healthy smoothie every day. Or a delicious lunch like a savory soup, fresh sandwiches or hot pasta. Also in the morning, in more than a cup of coffee, a delicious fruit cake or an apple pie awaits you. Or you can experience our unique tea concept. And see how a fresh smoothie is prepared before your eyes. “
“The PlantLab understands indoor cultivation. We have expertise in terms of customers and flavors. We have grown lettuce and herbs as sustainably as possible in just 18 days. This is how we create win-win situations, and we do it with all of our partners, ”explains Gerrit. Various suppliers therefore used the new building and reserved meeting rooms. These include Zespri, Fruity Pack, Schaap Holland, Peka Kroef, Beekers Berries, Koppert Cress, and FruitMasters.
“Our day-to-day work is from the point of view of a producer who wants to see his products prosper. It is with the passion of a greengrocer who wants only the best for his customers. And with the conviction of a chef who expects the best ingredients for his guests. We want to provide the best fresh produce every day. That’s why I think it’s so great that we opened this center. A center for education, experience, innovation and inspiration in the field of fresh produce. And that’s right where my father used to grow his Brussels sprouts, ”Gerrit concludes.