In the Netherlands, The Greenery has revealed that it doubled its yearly net result in 2016, with net profit rising from €4.1m in 2015 to €9m last year.
Profitability increased despite turnover falling by 6.9 per cent to €1.030bn, with The Greenery saying that the improved result was achieved as a result of cost reductions including lower finance charges.
The company pointed out that it had continued to successfully implement the strategic plan for 2014–2018 during the past year, and had made choices leading to a stable consecutive rise in profits.
The drop in turnover was caused by a 12.5 per cent fall in volume, The Greenery noted, although on average the price level was 6.5 per cent higher than in 2015 – partly due to weather conditions in the Netherlands and other production countries during the year.
This placed upwards pressure on prices in many product groups, slightly compensating for the drop in volume as a result, although the decrease in turnover manifested itself entirely in the organisation's fruit and vegetable trade.
Based on member volume trends, the management board said that it expected total sales volume to decrease slightly in 2017. A continued upwards sales trend is expected, however, in particular among Retail customers.
"In 2017, we expect contracted purchasing to account for a larger share of the volume. Our aim is to increase member volume even further. In 2016, the Coforta cooperative launched several initiatives to make membership more appealing."
The management board is expecting a further improvement in profitability in 2017, despite one-off costs and the temporary loss of productivity during the organisation's current logistical facelift.
"In the future, The Greenery will continue to invest in making fresh, healthy and affordable fruit and vegetables accessible to all consumers through cooperation with every link in the chain," the group stated. "Together, we are adding value to fruit and vegetables."