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Chefs help Zon launch asparagus campaign

New promotion for homegrown white asparagus should help marketer maintain its leading position in the Dutch market

Chefs help Zon launch asparagus campaign

Limburg’s regional economics deputy Twan Beurskens (r) joined Zon managing director Michiel van Ginkel (l) and eight regional mayors to open the 2015 Dutch asparagus season

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Dutch marketing organisation Zon Fruit & Vegetables has heralded the start of the country’s asparagus season with a special launch event involving some of the Netherlands’ leading chefs and the start of a new promotional campaign called Heerlijk Aspergetijd (Delicious Asparagus Time).

Held at Restaurant One in Roermond, near Venlo, the culinary get-together offered guests an opportunity to taste new-season white asparagus in a range of dishes prepared by Edwin Soumang, René Briemen, Paul Pollux, Eric Swaghoven and Margo Reuten, who between them boast a total of six Michelin stars.

Renowned health expert Rens Kroes was also on hand to deliver a presentation about healthy eating and the role asparagus can play in maintaining a good diet.

Zon remains the largest supplier of asparagus in the Netherlands, sourcing from more than 120 private growers producing the vegetable across 720ha of land, and generating a turnover of €16m in 2014.

According to managing director Michiel Ginkel, the organisation is determined to consolidate that position of leadership when it comes to supplying the Dutch and European market with high-quality asparagus.

“We are in the heart of the Netherlands’ asparagus fields, namely Limburg, and we are the largest asparagus producer in the Netherlands,” he commented. “We want not only to retain our position as market leader, with a share of over 20 per cent, but also to continue expanding.”

Zon has set up an Aspergetijd (Asparagus Time) website for consumers and traders, dedicated exclusively to the product and providing a range of different information.

In late April, Zon is due to supply asparagus for the traditional annual Nieuwspoort Asparagus Dinner in The Hague, an event attended by ministers, members of parliament and the press.

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