The Netherlands has became the first country in the world to supply sweet bell peppers to China, with the first commercial volumes arriving in Shanghai this week.
“China is a market with huge opportunities for Dutch sweet bell peppers,” said Matthijs Jasperse, managing director of FVO at the official launch in Shanghai. “We believe Chinese shoppers are going to respond very favourably to their flavour and colour. “
The Netherlands established a protocol with the Chinese government in 2015, sent test volumes last year, and this year is hoping for a speedy take-up of its sweet peppers, which are now available through a number of leading food retailers including Metro and City Shop. “The support of key food retailers is going to be crucial for our market development here,” explained Jasperse.
China already buys pears and vegetable seeds from the Netherlands, and is set to become a much more important market in future for its vegetable exports, currently worth some €6.3bn.
FVO is a consortium of Dutch sweet bell pepper growers and exporters specially created to service China. They are marketed under the new brand Dutch Valley, which brings together leading Westland grower Wim Zuidgeest with four Dutch exporters, namely The Greenery, Staay Food, Levahrt, and Global Green Team.