In a month’s time, the harvest of the Morel cherry will start at the Fruitboerderij in Limburg. The Morel is a somewhat more sour cherry and is sold to bakers throughout Limburg and to other canneries and juice factories in the region. Almost all buyers promote the origin of the product and indicate that the cherry comes from Dutch soil.
Susanne Görtz: “There is a tendency in the trade to work more and more with local products, with products with a story. We have noticed that it is good for growers to tell their own story. Even if you think that as a grower you don’t have an interesting story to tell, customers and consumers like to know where their product comes from.”
Susanne (left photo) and Andrea and Susanne
New collaborations sought
Since the Fruitboerderij has been focusing more on the story behind its products, there has been increasing interest from other corners: “Because we also invest in our story, we now have, in addition to canning and juicing factories, interesting sales channels through other partners, such as local bakers, ice cream makers and local retail concepts. These contacts lead to completely new fresh concepts. We would like to talk to more of these partners. Our harvest is increasing every year, so we also have a greater need for inspiring new partnerships,” says Susanne.
Different types of fruit
A variety of fruit types are grown at Fruit Farm Görtz. Besides the Morel cherry, they grow the Williams, Conference and Lukas pear, the Mirabel plum and the Schwetschen plum. For the apples, the fruit farm grows the Remo and the Rewena. In addition, they also grow grapes on a small scale.
“Our strength lies in diversification; by growing different fruit types and varieties you spread the risks, although it does mean a lot of extra work to divide your attention over all the products and to be able to find outlets for them all,” says Susanne. Because the yield of the harvest is very weather-dependent, Susanne also focuses on recreation at the Fruit Farm. “The combination of orchards and tourism is seen more and more often, and it fits in well. Guests can drink their own juice and pick their own fruit, for example.
In addition to her work at the Fruit Farm, Susanne also works for the Limburg Agricultural and Horticultural Association: “It is busy, but you learn a lot from both sides. You gain ideas. On your own farm you often stay in your own little circle, so it is sometimes good for entrepreneurs to zoom out a little. The contacts with people inside and outside the sector are also very valuable.”