Hans Liekens, a 24-year veteran of Europe’s produce industry, has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Europe as commercial manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In his new role, he will supervise the sales and grower support, customer service, and logistics teams based at Fall Creek’s Spanish nursery.
Liekens’ most recent positions include commercial and marketing director for Hessing and new business development director for Chiquita. Previously he served in various sales and product management positions at Friesland Campina and Tropicana (Pepsico).
Speaking of new role at Fall Creek, Liekens said: “At Chiquita and Hessing, I discovered how rewarding it was to work with honestly healthy and tasteful products. Now at Fall Creek, I will be able to continue this with healthful blueberries while combining it with my first love – agriculture and the nursery business.”
David Schlosberg, Fall Creek’s director of sales and marketing said Liekens’ breadth of produce industry experience and knowledge would bring a unique perspective and critical expertise to the company.
“Not only will his knowledge of produce benefit and enrich our global team but it will bring tremendous value to our customers as well,” Schlosberg said.
Speaking to Fruitnet in October, Liekens observed that while there was strong potential the European market the trade needs to become more consumer focused rather than being supply led.
“In spite of having a constant supply of good quality blueberries, consumption in Europe remains very low when compared with the US,” he observed.
“One of the first things we need to do is connect with retailers and try to understand why consumption is so low.”
Fall Creek, a blueberry breeding and nursery company, delivers blueberry genetics, plants, horticultural support and marketing intelligence to blueberry growers worldwide. With wholly-owned nurseries and R&D centres in the US, Mexico, Peru, and Spain, and partner licensees worldwide, Fall Creek’s professional team of experts is uniquely qualified to serve the global industry’s leading growers.