The Belgian early crop season is bursting out!

In February, the early crops were already heralding spring, and this month sees the season really getting into its stride. The LAVA auctions are expecting decent levels of supplies of Belgian products from April onwards. Why not surprise your customers in the weeks ahead with healthy, tasty home-grown vegetables?

Tasty teasers
The first crates of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes were being auctioned as early as the end of January/early February. The first crop of greenhouse asparagus was also exceptionally early this year. The season for Belgian products is once again getting properly into its stride, and plentiful supplies will be available as early as March and April. This spring, too, the LAVA auctions are selling home-grown early-crop vegetables that look perfect, are perfectly fresh and are sustainably grown. This premium quality is identified by the Flandria label.

Tomatoes bring you a taste of spring
The areas under the classic tomatoes - Baron, Prince and Tomabel - remain the same this year. However, there has been a drop in the traditional cluster types as well as Elite, Princess and Tomabel. The area under Prunella plum tomatoes (loose/cluster) is also declining.
A wide range of Belgian tomatoes recently became available every day, each with its own specific flavour, colour, size and shape. They offer a host of different solutions to meet the varying demands from trade and consumers alike. Supplies of Baron, the versatile Belgian beefsteak tomato par excellence, are expected to be as much as 1 million kg in the week before Easter, with production likely to hit 2.5 to 3 million kg per week after that.
The cluster tomato Elite is billed very much as the 'tomato for flavour', and the slogan 'Real Taste' on the packaging will definitely persuade customers. The quantity of cluster tomatoes increases to 1 million kg in week 14, and between 1.5 and 2 million kg per week in weeks 15 and 16, peaking in week 18 at 2.5 to 3 million kg.
Hoogstraten Auction offers a volume of cluster tomatoes (Princess) of premium quality thanks to cultivation under lamps, and volumes of plum tomatoes have also been rising sharply since March.

Peppers of all colours
In 2015, it is planned to increase the area for all colours. In mid-February, the first green peppers were harvested, and there is now a robust supply of green peppers available. Since early March, red peppers are also ripe, and they will be followed by the yellow and orange peppers. As from mid-March, therefore, all colours are available on the clock, and the volume will increase sharply again in April. Flandria quality guarantees firm fruits with a nice uniform colour and a glossy skin. With their fresh colours, peppers are real eye-catchers on the greengrocery shelves, and they are also a vegetable which offers a high level of vitamin C, which makes them good and healthy for customers.
In addition to the traditional square-shouldered peppers (in red, yellow, green and orange), the LAVA auctions also supply specialties, including a sweet pointed pepper, a sharp Spanish pepper (in red, green, orange and yellow), and baby peppers, the latest 'specialty pepper' from BelOrta Auction. These mini square-shouldered peppers (weighing 30 to 35 g) are available in limited quantities from April, in red, yellow and brown.

Aubergines: firm and glossy
The Flandria quality of aubergines translates into firm, fresh fruits with a regular shape and a glossy purple skin. Six grades are on offer, depending on weight. Alongside the 5 kg aubergine box, smaller packages are also available on demand. In week 14 (the week before Easter), producers are already promising 200,000 kg of aubergines, and the supply increases throughout April to 300,000 kg. The first peak is expected around week 18, at 350,000 kg/week.

Festive asparagus
Asparagus is unquestionably the top spring vegetable. The queen of vegetables is widely available for the festive Easter period. In week 14, LAVA is expecting some 40,000 kg grown in greenhouses. By the end of April, outdoor asparagus will come on stream, with 150,000 to 200,000 kg expected.

Specialties are becoming more popular
In 2015, Flandria Specialty Street once again offers a wide range of colours, shapes and tastes, all with the Flandria quality guarantee: environmentally sensitive cultivation, fresh every day and uniform premium quality. Specialties are strikingly popular: with the festive season upon us, they are an essential presence on the greengrocery shelves. The steady increase in the area under cultivation guarantees continuous supplies over a longer period. These attractive niche products, perfectly in tune with the trend for 'healthy snacking', will definitely appeal to customers.

The greengrocery shelves put on their Easter bonnets
The LAVA auctions guarantee a handsome range of home-grown fruit and vegetables and specialties in the run-up to Easter. A festive array of 'home-grown' early spring vegetables in the shop will inspire shoppers to conjure up something new for Easter. An attractive presentation will give your greengrocery shelves that special Easter look. The combination of premium Flandria quality, expert advice and personal service is a sure-fire way of boosting your sales during the festive period.

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