News Roundup

Export VLAM shifts its focus towards prospecting
VLAM this year is on the lookout for new sales markets within Europe, and is accordingly organising not just the usual fairs, but also contact days on particular markets which offer sufficient potential. This spring, northern Italy and the Balkans have been selected. During such a business trip, VLAM, together with a delegation of exporters and auctions, approach a market via targeted local visits and small-scale contact events between the Belgian exporters and local purchasers. These prospecting operations may help the auctions to develop a supply that is more targeted towards these particular regions.
Early markets, visits to shops and agreements with the major importers - these were the ingredients of a successful prospecting trip to northern Italy. The Flemish Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing Board (VLAM) set off at the end of February with nine exporters and representatives from three auctions to Milan, Verona and Bologna. These cities are highly influential in the northern Italian market for fruit, vegetables and potatoes. The challenge was to get more Belgian products on to the shelves in Italy. At the early market in Bologna and on visits to a number of retailers, carrots, cabbages, chicory and leeks from Belgium were spotted; and Flandria leeks were available at the early market in Milan. In addition to the interesting visits to the early markets, the delegation was also shown round the greengrocery departments by all relevant retailers,
And a further contact day is in the pipeline. From 23 to 26 March, VLAM is accompanying a delegation from the fruit and vegetables sector to the Balkans. With the targets being Zagreb and Belgrade, this promises to be another full programme.

BelOrta launces new types of tomato packaging
After Vit-A-shake, BelOrta is now rolling out the Vit-A-bag. The tastiest snack tomatoes on the market are selected for the Vit-A-bag. In addition, this packaging also contains Belgian tomatoes all year round. This handy pack catches the eye thanks to its fresh design and is ideal for snacking on the go. Plus, this pack generates less waste than a shaker and more bags will fit into a box (12 bags in EPS-T).
Many a tomato gourmet has been trying for years to convince consumers that tomatoes do not need to go in the fridge. BelOrta is now introducing a new tomato which turns that whole story on its head. ZeroTom contains a tomato which tastes even more intense after it comes out of the fridge. The cold temperature ensures that ZeroTom retains it delicious bite and perfect balance of flavours. The handy packaging stands out on your shelf and ensures that customers can readily store these tomatoes in the fridge.
Products such as Lemoncherry, BelRosso, Coeur de boeuf d'Antan and pineapple tomato have exotic-sounding names which make the mouth water. BelOrta is now going to be bringing these tomatoes together under the new tasty tomato concept, 'BelOrta's finest'. The images used in the concept clearly play on authenticity and the tradition of tasty, attractive tomatoes, a tradition which is firmly embedded at BelOrta, which already has over 100 years of experience in growing and marketing.

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