Organic sweet potatoes arrive from Honduras
The first container of organic sweet potatoes from Honduras has arrived at AgroFair in Barendrecht, the Netherlands. “We received the first delivery, in various sizes,” says Geert Demeyere. It was the first shipment from a new producer. “We came to this producer because he has fairly large volumes at his disposal. This makes it possible to offer yearly programmes from just one supplier. We would need multiple suppliers from other countries, we have now consciously chosen to de-burden our customers year-round with this decision. We think it will have many advantages.”
Geert Demeyere and Roeland Herrewijnen with a part of the first delivery of organic sweet potatoes.
The producer concerned cultivates sweet potatoes throughout the year. “The climate in Honduras permits year-round cultivation,” Geert explains. “Demand for sweet potatoes increases every year. We are mainly active in organic and/or Fair Trade bananas, but we have noticed that demand for sweet potatoes in supermarkets is increasing. That is why we decided to make work of this, and develop a sweet potato project.”
The container that arrived was a route for 15 days. “We have weekly arrivals, and now start with one container. We assume that volumes will increase further in future after this beginning. After all, the market is still developing.” Geert says that quality of the first delivery of sweet potatoes is very good. “There will definitely be times when quality is poorer, but that is the case for all products, everywhere. This supplier also has the facilities to process sweet potatoes of poorer quality. Think of dried products or purée. This is a relatively large producer who has the possibility of sorting. And they have access to the local market.”
The employees of AgroFair have already visited the producer a number of times. “We saw with our own eyes the impact of this producer on the community surrounding the company. They now mostly devote themselves to single mothers, they offer support for the education of their children. This perfectly fits AgroFair’s strategy. In our eyes, projects have to be either socially sustainable or sustainable as regards production. We further develop this, and are working on supporting this producer in getting Fair Trade certified. This is to lift the sustainable, social aspect even higher, to further increase the social impact in the area. We are feeling very confident that this will work.”
The plantation in Honduras.