Vision becomes reality

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14 November 2022
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Operations now under one roof for Dutch operations.

DUTCH traders Anton Riezebos and Corné Kodde, who started Polder Potato in 2018 have seen their company grow steadily and last year acquired processing company ASN, whom it had been supplying for the past two years.

Now both companies are located under one roof and are focusing on potato peeling and producing fresh products like French fries. 

For Anton, who runs the day-to-day business, it is the realisation of a long-term aim. "We package plenty of Spanish Agrias and then are always left with the undersized (40-60) ones. We used to sell those to other market players but always felt we could market them better so, we began looking for the chance to start a peeling company," he said in an interview with Fresh Plaza.

The new processing plant has been operational for several months. "Having everything in one place is ideal and working from this new production environment improves efficiently," Anton said. 

Finis provided the new peeling lines.

As well as inheriting ASN's clients, more customers have since come on board, both large and small, within the meals segment. "Most of ASN's customers are in the Netherlands, but we're looking at overseas opportunities too. We're thrilled with our package expansion. This was always the plan. We now grow our own potatoes, supply seed potatoes (also for export), pack for the local market, and have a peeling plant. That's a nice year-round spread of activities," said Anton.

"We work a lot with fellow packers and traders, something we definitely hope to keep doing. After all, why do everything yourself when you can strengthen each other? Postuma AGF takes care of our outgoing transport. They travel throughout the Netherlands, which is perfect for us." You would be mistaken in thinking these entrepreneurs are done investing. "There are still plenty of growth opportunities in the fresh French fries arena. Also, we applied for a permit to build a new crate storage facility that can hold 2,000 crates."

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He said the company's farm-to-fork principle appeals to many buyers. "We have deals with a fixed group of growers who produce potatoes close by for Polder Potato and ASN. Our logistical lines are thus very short, and we deliver a product we truly support. Many of our potatoes are grown very locally, and we source our early potatoes from the south of the country."

Agria is its main variety but it also grows Titanium.

Circular farming is also a key part of the business. Anton said: "We exchange land with a livestock farmer. He uses all the peels from our plant as cattle feed, and we get to use his manure." 

Anton is optimistic about the forthcoming potato season. "Inflation may even boost potato sales. People always turn to basic products like potatoes. And Dutch yields are quite good. The market should remain fairly stable, but we'll only know how things fared for sure when the season's over," he said.

Source: Fresh Plaza

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