Veiling Haspengouw and UNIVEG investigate a commercial partnership

Veiling Haspengouw and UNIVEG investigate a commercial partnership

The Board of Directors of Veiling Haspengouw and UNIVEG have announced today in a press conference that they are investigating an intensive form of commercial partnership.

To this end they have signed a Letter of Intent in which UNIVEG would participate in two subsidiaries of Veiling Haspengouw, H-Fruit and H-Ppack.  AIF, the investment fund of Boerenbond, will support the project by means of a subordinated loan.  The closing of the latter is with reservation of a due dilligence, the approval of the competition authorities and the approval of the National CMO authority.

In the considered structure Veiling Haspengouw continues to exist as a cooperation.  She is strengthened by the expansion of the sales channels, in a structure that guarantees a fair price for the growers.

Towards the global market

"As from the first conversations between Veiling Haspengouw, UNIVEG and Boerenbond the desire to write a new chapter on bringing our fruit to the global market was clear", explains Luc Bels, chairman of Veiling Haspengouw.  That way we become a win-win-win situation for growers, staff and H-Fruit."

The activities of Veiling Haspengouw and H-Fruit remain the same as they are today.  H-Fruit will continue to serve its present customers, but will also get access to the commercial network of UNIVEG.  This partnership agreement offers a stronger competitive position for all parties.

Innovative and logical

According to the chairman of UNIVEG, Hein Deprez, the partnership with Veiling Haspengouw fits perfectly with the two basic principles on which UNIVEG was built: the creation and the organisation of an integrated delivery chain in which the offer is matched to market demand on the one hand, the bundling of different product streams by making use of efficient platforms based on our customers on the other hand.

"As a worldwide provider and commercial and distribution company UNIVEG is an important player in the import from Europe and overseas areas", says Francis Kint, CEO of UNIVEG.  However, today it is our most important goal to make even better use of our competencies for the local product, to the local as wel as a to the export oriented market.  A more intense partnership with a producers' organisation is maybe innovative, but also logical.  That we are taking this step with Veiling Haspengouw comes from a relationship of many years' standing."

Strategic reorientation

According to Piet Vanthemsche, chairman of Boerenbond, AIF is a logical partner in this story.  "We support each partnership agreement that strengthens the position of the Belgian growers and facilitates a market driven production, preferably from a cooperative mindset.  The creation of this platform can contribute to the diversification of the sales channels.  Moreover, the platform is open to other producers' organisations who wish to take part in it."

"The suggested partnership is part of a broader strategic reorientation", explains Marijke Vanderstukken, CEO of Veiling Haspengouw.  "This reorientation consists of three pillars: a more efficient functioning, an improved service to the grower and a reinforcement of his commercial power.  It gives a positive reply to the changing market conditions, where growers and employees prepare the auction market for the future."

Info on Veiling Haspengouw: Veiling Haspengouw is a cooperative of qualitative hard and soft fruit growers.  The excellent quality of her fruit is the result of many years' craftmanship, scientific research, environmental cultivation and innovation.  Veiling Haspengouw has evolved from a regional auction market to an internationally valued partner.   She counts 400 members and has 127 employees.

Info on UNIVEG: The group UNIVEG is a worldwide provider of fresh products en deals with vegetables & fruit, flowers & plants, ready-to-eat salads and transport & logistics.  The group UNIVEG has offices on all continents at their disposal and delivers to customers worldwide.  Today the group employs more than 5.550 people.

Info on AIF: Agri Investment Fund SCRL is the investment company of Groep Boerenbond (MRBB).  AIF spreads her participations across the pertinent sales channels for agricultural products and promissing innovative developments that strengthen the position of the growers and their cooperatives.