Large volumes of Flandria cucumbers for Easter

Retailers look forward every year to the start of the early crop season. Cucumbers are (already) getting the ball rolling as early as January! The ample supplies in March make this a perfect product for promotional deals around Easter. BelOrta and REO auctions market Flandria cucumbers together on the clock.

A traditional opener for the season
This year, once again, cucumbers are living up to their reputation as season openers. Friday 16 January saw the REO Auction selling the year's first cucumbers under the Flandria label. The early crop is achieved with due respect for sustainability: Responsibly Fresh. For example, heat recovery ensures not only lower heating costs, but also a better climate in the greenhouses, which all works to the benefit of the Flandria quality of the cucumbers.

Promotional deals in the festive period
From March onwards, the cucumber season will be getting firmly into its stride. By about week 10, the producers will already be supplying 1.5 million units. In the week before Easter (week 13), the trade can rely on large volumes - some 2.5 to 3 million units/week. This festive season is perfect for promotional deals on the shop floor. Supplies are at their peak between May and September inclusive.

Flexible sales system
To bolster their position on the European market, the LAVA auctions BelOrta and REO have for some years now been selling cucumbers together on the clock. The principle behind this is to make the combined supply under the Flandria quality label available at the same time on the BelOrta clock. This means the trade can concentrate on a single clock, which ensures uniform pricing. In order to send the supply and maintain a stable stock at both the auctions, it has been mutually agreed to position the product flexibly from one location to the other. Delivery is entirely to suit the buyer's wishes. The intention is to achieve the optimum match between supply at both market places and demand from the market. This product merger has definitely been yielding good results for some years now.

Flandria: an established presence in the greengrocery department
The traditional Flandria cucumber remains an established presence in the greengrocery department. The coloured label stands for a field-fresh quality product and optimum keeping properties. The specifications guarantee transparent food safety and sustainable cultivation.
Cucumbers qualifying for the Flandria quality label have the following features:
• Firm, fresh and undamaged
• Regular and straight in shape
• A fresh green colour with a nice shine
• Not pointed
• Careful presentation
• Cleanly cut with a short stem
• Optimum keeping properties

Uniform grading is a plus point
What is interesting for the trade is the uniform grading based on weight and fruit length.
The standard way of supplying cucumbers is packed in blue EPS crates:
• EPS-H 18 units/crate + 750 g
• EPS-M 18 to 24 units/crate 400/750 g
• EPS-T 12 to 14 units/crate 400/300 g
The attractive lidded Flandria cucumber boxes are also available in the 400-500 and 350-400 g grades, with 12 units/box. Other packaging options can be supplied at the trade's request.

Donna Midi is an attractive niche product
In the specialties range, the Donna Midi snack cucumber is once again available from BelOrta Auction. The quality standards and supply period are the same as for the traditional Flandria cucumbers. This specialty, with fruit weighing 150/250 g and about 15 cm long, is offered in EPS-T (20 units) on the clock. Supplies this year are set to increase slightly.
As a specialist shop, you can offer this attractive product as a handy convenience item for singles and small families. Boost your sales by putting Donna Midi on display as a 'healthy snack' alongside snack tomatoes in the greengrocery department.

Tips for the shopkeeper
• Cucumbers are sensitive to low storage temperatures.
• 15 °C and relative humidity of 90 to 95% are ideal on the shop floor.
• Do not display with fruits that produce ethylene, such as tomatoes, apples or citrus fruits.
• Cover to prevent drying out.
• Avoid displaying in the sun or warmth.
• Make sure that any cucumbers showing signs of damage are removed quickly, to prevent loss of quality.

A festive Easter table
This tasty vegetable is the perfect choice for slimmers. Cucumbers contain a lot of water and have only 8 kcal per 100 g, plus they contain lots of phosphorus (24 mg) and vitamin C (10 mg). The green colour is a clear indication of the health benefits inside: cucumbers are particularly good for bones, teeth and eyesight.
Fresh cucumber spread is a delicious filling for a lunchtime sandwich, in a salad or as a snack. Why not suggest that customers whip up a tasty cucumber soup. Give them some tips for warm cucumber canapés for a festive Easter table.


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