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Piet van Vugt, Van Vugt Kruiden:

"Herbs increasingly found in fresh produce packs and online stores"

The new Dutch herb season has begun. "The greenhouses have been steamed clean, and we've replanted everything. In about three weeks, our product range will again include most of the Dutch herbs. Unfortunately, too late for Easter, but that's beyond our control," says Piet van Vugt. Last year, Van Vugt Herbs expanded its greenhouse acreage by five hectares by purchasing two nearby greenhouse businesses. The grower now has around 25 types of common herbs available year-round.

The new season has begun.

The Dutch grower currently sources most of his herbs from Southern European countries like Spain, Italy, and France. "We started with Israeli herbs 25 years ago to fill the winter season, then moved to Africa. Now, we mainly grow in Southern Europe during the winter, so we're getting closer to home."

Steaming the greenhouses.

Van Vugt had no shortages in recent weeks. "We covered our bases well and could meet demand, which increased again. It's challenging, but we always aim to fill 100% of our customer orders," Piet explains.

Basil and coriander

Easter traditionally boosts demand, though according to Piet, it is not as wild as Christmas. "Then it's true mayhem. Edible flowers are currently in high demand. We supply these year-round from our Dutch greenhouse. Violets remain the top product in this segment, but edible carnations and sweet peas are also in great demand. We sell most of these flowers to the upscale restaurant sector, but we also have retailers who offer them during the holidays."

Van Vugt serves its clients directly within Europe, while countries outside Europe are supplied through exporters. "Our herbs, thus, increasingly find their way to distant destinations like Dubai, where the edible flowers are especially popular," says Van Vugt. "But herb sales for fresh meal kits and towards online supermarkets are on the rise, too. Our herbs are perfectly suited for those. Whether for a cup of fresh mint tea or homemade herb butter, our products have endless possibilities."

"The pandemic hit us hard, but I'm proud we retained all our existing customers. We're looking forward to the new Dutch season. Herbs like basil, coriander, dill, flat-leaf parsley, and mint remain incredibly popular. As the weather improves and the terraces open up, fresh mint sales increase immediately," Piet concludes.

For more information:
Piet van Vugt
Van Vugt Herbs
16 Hoogzandweg, 2988 DA
Ridderkerk, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0) 180 625 660
[email protected]

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