Wednesday, March 7, 2012

6th March mechelse veilingen, Mechelen, Belgium

How to describe MV, EU's largest vegetable cooperative auction house, housed in 50ha of buildings, moving 270,000 tonnes per year of fresh fruit & vegetables, 10-15 million kg of produce per 12 hours, 65 forklifts, 230 employees and a turn over of 178 million euro, is very difficult!

Dutch auction clock used with 6 running during the busy period.

Commodities sold include, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, lettuce, leeks,egg plants, cauliflower, white asparagus and other old style vegetables.

Full traceability from paddock to retailer via bar coded boxes and 6 grower sustainability assessment schemes. Produce sold under the Flandria and belorta brands which are exported primarily to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Russia and other EU companies. They are based in Mechelen as this city is within a 1000km radius of approx 40% of the EU population. Russia seen as a emerging market with over 10 million millionaires alone in Moscow & Petersburg.

Logistic management key to business sustainability and growth, 65 electric forklifts, 500 despatch/intake ports, air traffic controllers managing forks, 13-15 million kgs of produce handled, facility washed and prepared for next trade day from 6am to 5pm.

MV contributes to R&D station, with funding from growers, government and income generation/sponsorship (33% each). Quite prescriptive farming methods used, IPM compulsory, flower fertilisation by set bee species, variety available to grow and fertiliser recipes.

Great day of observing a 60 year old co operative that works solely for the member, the farmer. Thank you Luc Peeters.

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