Flower Sprout from BelOrta wins 1st nomination at Golden Tavola
BelOrta will be in attendance for the second year with a stand in Kortrijk Xpo (stand 132), where it will also be presenting its new vegetable, 'Flower Sprouts', which won BelOrta the first nomination at the Golden Tavola 2016 in the Retail category. This competition, run at TAVOLA's instigation, rewards the best innovations in the food sector. In addition to flavour, criteria such as innovation, packaging, marketing, environmental respect and sustainability are key issues in the judging.

Tomato Conference brings trends in production, marketing and consumption
From 13 to 15 April, Flandria is staging an international tomato conference at the Radisson Blu hotel in Antwerp. The LAVA auctions and the Flemish Experimental Centres want to use this event to take a look at the trends within this product group. Accordingly, the majority of the conference will run in two parallel sessions, with one focusing on scientific research and one on marketing tomatoes. There will be room for scientific presentations and discussion forums with colleagues. Speakers from various producer regions in the EU will be giving a peek into the trends in tomato production: segmentation, differentiation, marketing and sales methods. Speakers from both home and abroad will expand on the topics of quality, sustainability and innovation.

In parallel with the research session, a marketing session will operate, where more commercially interested parties can participate in discussion forums and presentations. National and international retailers will give their views on the segmentation and sales methods from the point of view of what the consumer wants when it comes to tomatoes. The objective is to gain a clear picture of tomato consumption and production in the EU and worldwide, and explore tomato differentiation in the shops. The food-service sector and consumer and fair trade organisations will also be speaking.

Much attention is also being paid to the practical side. On the final day, there is a choice between two different tours with visits to auctions, producers and experimental centres.

The complete programme at

Hoogstraten Auction to become Hoogstraten Cooperative
Hoogstraten Auction cv used Fruit Logistica to publicise its new logo. This shows a leaf with the letter H formed by the veins. The dynamic shape and curve of the logo refer to the open attitude of Hoogstraten, and the logo uses fresh, natural colours; a different colour for every product group. “This gives our products an exclusive look”, explains Jan Engelen, commercial manager.
Together with the new logo, the name is also changing, from Hoogstraten to Hoogstraten Cooperative cv, a clear strategy which is aiming at combining the supply side with space for individual entrepreneurs. This serves to emphasise the importance of mutual collaboration in an ever-changing business climate.

Home of quality
“Given that we cultivate a philosophy where quality and food safety are the central issues, we are continuing to hold on to the quality labels of Flandria for vegetables and Hoogstraten for soft fruit”, explains Jan Engelen. He admits that they have also been looking at brand policy. "We had the Hoogstraten label for strawberries, Specialty Street for specialties and Flandria, the common label in Belgium for fruit and vegetables. The logo now brings all products under the one brand: the new Hoogstraten look. The new Hoogstraten baseline is 'Home of Quality'. Hoogstraten Cooperative cv translates the cooperative mind-set into its core values every day: trust, expertise, passion, health and listening to customers. These values are expressed in a new, fresh and contemporary house style.”

REO Auction attends Agro Expo Vlaanderen
At the recent Agro-Expo Vlaanderen, held from 23 to 25 January in Roeselare, the focus was on strawberries and carrots. West Flanders is the leek-growing region par excellence, but many other outdoor crops are also grown here, for both industry and the fresh market. Carrots are far and away the most important vegetable in Belgium in terms of production. Supplies of bunched carrots to the REO Auction amount to between 1.2 and 1.5 million bunches per year. It is predicted that the years ahead will also see an increase in horticulture under glass. At the REO Auction stand, the Flandria products were on offer and strawberry-growing is also expanding. In November 2015, the auction sold its 10 millionth punnet of home-grown strawberries. This record demonstrates the increasing importance of West Flanders as a soft fruit region.

Europe backs more 'fruit and vegetables at school'
The EU is spending 150 million this year on a European programme to get more fruit and vegetables into schools in order to encourage children to eat more healthily. To make the school campaign more effective, the Member States must promote healthy eating habits, local food chains, organic farming and the struggle against food waste. The educational measures must tighten the link between children and farming and horticulture by means of farm visits and getting to know local specialties. Locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables must be given priority. The European Parliament considers this programme to be essential. More than 20 million children in the EU are overweight and teenagers eat, on average, only 30% to 50% of the recommended daily portions of fruit and vegetables.


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