Fruitnet.com's partner publications FRESH PRODUCE JOURNAL, EUROFRUIT, ASIAFRUIT and AMERICAFRUIT have teamed up to publish a series of special interviews to coincide with the FIFA World Cup, featuring a member of the fresh produce industry from each of the 32 nations involved in the tournament.
Today, it's Sofie Lambrecht of Belgium's VLAM and Olga Ivanova of Russian firm Fruity Mail, ahead of their national teams' Group H clash tomorrow (22 June):
What is your firm’s world-beating service or product?
Sofie Lambrecht: Belgian endives, a world-beating product due to the favourable Belgian climate, fertile soil and excellent craftsmanship of the Belgian growers.
Olga Ivanova: Well, by mid-July we will have started selling Russian watermelons, which is a key summer product.
What does the World Cup mean to people in your country?
SL: It’s been a long time since we have participated so the Belgians are very eager to encourage our many talented players. It brings out a feeling of national pride.
OI: The World Cup means a lot and Russians are always watching. The bars are usually all full.
How do you think your national team will fare in Brazil?
SL: The Belgian team will surprise the world and I strongly believe we will end up in the final.
OI: I don't think they will do very well. We have a very unstable team which sometimes plays well, and at other times, not good.