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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

nr.

6

winter 2013

The art of co-making. This newsletter is dedicated to co-making. The theme, therefore, is collaboration. Why? Because we live in times of such complex techniques and processes that almost no-one has a complete overview of more than one field. This is the age of the specialists. Another reason is that we are facing a tough economy. In bleak economic times there is more room to search for new possibilities, markets and alliances. During boom times companies are less mobile, more conservative. When the tide is against us, we are more alert for new opportunities, less likely to avoid new contacts or ways of collaborating, possibly even looking out for them more readily. Berrico FoodCompany is not a producer of end products. We are a typical co-maker, an enabler. And to an extent we are a co-creator: we like searching for new paths, surprising possibilities, unknown recipes. We like thinking along with you. That, in essence, is what this newsletter is about. Enjoy the read! Response?

Read on‌ Trends, organic foods are hot, as is regional production, collaboration on numerous fronts. Organic or not organic? Scientist Louise Fresco wrote a book about it that ruffled many feathers. Bees. Useful? They are essential to life! And speaking of collaboration... CO-2 Footprint, cutting CO-2 emissions? A method surprisingly different to what you would expect. BioFach, big, bigger, biggest. We are there. Get your goat, the diverse, original range which generates global success for De JongCheese. Collaboration. Berrico and the Canadian Fruit d’Or are a true partnership. Cranberries Rock, cranberries, swinging, in this case the Irish way.


Trends This newsletter is about collaboration and, as such, it follows the trend. For, working together in possibly continually shifting relationships is the current trend. There is also a clear shift towards the smaller scale, towards pure, honestly produced foods (organic or otherwise), preferably sourced from the local environment. Is it a subconscious desire to return to the past, when everything was orderly and small-scale? Who knows?

Many of the current trendsetters did not even experience those bygone times, but yet there appears to be a romantic nostalgia, a desire to turn back time. We cannot turn back the clock. Pure artisan methods of production are costly and therefore by definition doomed to remain small in scale. Only mass production will enable us to continue feeding the world, at least that is what Louise Fresco contends in ‘Hamburgers in het paradijs’ (Hamburgers in Paradise). It is an attractive development that the appreciation of purity and honesty is growing and that an increasing number of people are willing to pay for these values. Exclusivity on one hand, and mass production on the other – each with their own qualities, and why not?

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Organic or non-organic? Organic foods are still gaining popularity in many western countries. Perhaps this is because it appeals to our desire for an orderly, romantic world in which small-scale artisan methods prevail. Organics ‘feel’ better, sometimes taste better, but are also more expensive and more exclusive than mass produced products. Prof. dr. ir. Louise Fresco from the University of Amsterdam formerly held a senior post at the Food and Agriculture Organisation and has more than earned her stripes internationally in several African and other nations, but also at Stanford University, among others. These days she lectures in Amsterdam, where she also published the book ‘Hamburgers in het paradijs’ (Hamburgers in Paradise). In this book (presently available in Dutch only), Fresco takes the measure of organic food production and pitches it against the current and anticipated global demand for food. Fresco shows that there is no room for romantic ideals such as universal small-scale operation with respect for nature. In fact, quite the opposite: mass production has to be the solution, the only way to fill all the world’s mouths without fully exploiting the entire earth in a short space of time. Fresco makes a sobering plea for uniformity and large scale processes and why should she be wrong in this? She shows that organic crops and small-scale cattle breeding are not able to feed the imminent nine billion mouths (by 2050). Mass population of earth demands mass production – that is the only way food can remain affordable for practically all. Organic foods will remain – in fact they will increase in popularity – but they will remain a niche product. An exclusive article, bought by a selective audience with other priorities besides striving for a low price. Prof. dr. ir. Louise Fresco bursts the balloon of the mythical realm where people and nature live in harmony and she does so with fervour, but also regularly with apparent reluctance. She too would have liked to see things differently, but the ratio is undeniable. ‘Hamburgers in het paradijs’, € 24,95, published by Bert Bakker. Other books which address this issue: ‘In defense of food’ by Michael Pollan. Published by Penguin. What to eat and what not to eat? ‘Not to eat anything your (great) grandmother would not recognize as food’ is the advice given by Pollan, who previously became known with his book ‘The Omnivore’s dilemma’. Dutch writer Marc van Dinther wrote ‘Ons Eten’ (Our Food), published by Minestrone Culinaire Uitgeverij, also launched a quest into the how and why of food production, with fabulous insights into daily practices and wonderful discussions. He pitches organic against conventional, without making a value judgement. Pollan and Van Dinther: two must-reads! Response?

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Bees

The busy bee is an important part of the food chain – numerous, a good communicator, and the epitome of cooperation. Some races of bee only focus on selected crops, but others are less picky. The bee is a vital link in the reproductive chain for a large number of crops. This could cause problems in the long term, for the bee is in trouble, worldwide. Mysterious diseases and parasites are plaguing bees, even driving entire populations to extinction. Another enemy of bees is crop protection, proving fatal to not only insect pests, but also to bees. Add to this the fact that there is a shortage of food for bees in many regions, and the fate of the species appears to be as good as sealed. If the honey bee does go extinct, as projected by some grave sources, then this could mean the end of some varieties of fruit, such as the apple. It could also spell the end of a tradition as old as humanity, for what else did Eve bite into other than an apple?

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Does this mean we ought to fear for the future of fruits like the cranberry? Although the plant is selfpollinating to an extent, the honey or bumble bee plays a vital part. Without the agency of these insects, the harvest shrinks to minimal proportions and the quality dramatically reduces too. It is clear that the role of the honey bee and the bumble bee is undiminished in importance. So: save the honey bee and the bumble bee, for the sake of biodiversity and, clearly, for human interests also. In Europe most honey bees are kept by hobby beekeepers who are steadily decreasing in number. This trend must be halted if we wish to continue to enjoy nature, honey, beeswax and other (pharmaceutical) products. . Bees are much too important to be left to their fate! Response?


CO-2 Footprint These days everyone wants to save the environment, which is why there is more awareness than ever of the CO-2 footprint. CO-2 is released by numerous production processes and of course by transport. Therefore, CO-2 reduction seems to be a simple matter – the more we cut transport, the better, right? No… Organic production produces lower CO-2 emissions than conventional, right? No… The truth is infinitely more complex. It is the sum of multiple factors that combine to make it more environmentally sustainable to grow beans in Africa and have them flown to Europe, than it is to grow the same beans in one’s own vegetable garden. Particularly mass production and mass transportation in many cases yields more environmental savings than small-scale production and transportation. Growing lettuce in one’s allotment and therefore making a trip to the garden centre to buy compost puts greater strain on the environment than professional production hundreds of miles away but operating much more efficiently. A ‘free-range’ hen lives a much longer, more pleasant life than a battery hen, but during that lifetime it produces much more CO-2 and requires much more feed in order to grow to size. Products that are grown in the ‘cold’ earth deplete the soil more quickly than products grown under glass on mineral wool. Much has changed since the documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ played on consciences and increased attention for the environment. A plethora of studies has been conducted into many aspects of environmental sustainability and again and again the truth appears to have many faces and to be difficult to distinguish from semi-truths and untruths. Fortunately there are occasional sureties. Berrico’s cranberries (from Fruit d’Or) do not need much care and also the organic variety is harvested, processed and transported on a relatively large scale. For example in dried form: The transportation is easy and efficient with minimum CO-2 emissions. The CO-2 footprint of the cranberry is negligible. Our supplier Fruit d’Or packs the cranberries for the North American consumer market in plastic cups that are suitable for re-use and fully recyclable. Supplying the berries to Europe in bulk dried and in nfc juice, juice concentrate or puree form, is extra sustainable. However the cranberry is an exception: everyone who is in some way involved with food production faces numerous dilemmas when it comes to the environment. In practice taste, quality, price, shelf life are strong factors too, and there is no one overwhelming truth. Response?

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The greatest growth.

Nuremburg: 13-16 February. Next month it is that time again, when exhibitors and visitors from around the globe flock to BioFach, the world’s largest organics fair. The numbers will be impressive again this year – 2400 exhibitors, 40,000 visitors from more than 130 countries will exchange ideas and information, find inspiration and forge new contacts.

All the berries of the world…

Cranberries • Blueberries • Cherries

Pure specialists

Conventional and organic fruit

Conventional and organic fruit

Cranberries • Blueberries • Cherries

Stand 510 H, Hall 4. Canadian Pavilion.

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Pure specialists

All the berries of the world…

Conventional and organic fruit

Pure specialists

Cranberries • Blueberries • Cherries

Cranberries • Blueberries • Cherries

Cranberries • Blueberries • Cherries

We have said it before, but it is worth repeating – the market for organic products is growing strongly, so much so that the percentages must be expressed in double figures. Among the largest growers are the Netherlands, + 17 %, followed by France and Sweden in joint second place with 11 % growth. Growing concern for the environment, increasing focus on healthy lifestyles, and nostalgia for the orderly time when almost all food was produced in the local environment, must all play a part in this development. Like organics, locally produced foods are a global trend, which means BioFach should be successful again – a must for every professional in the organic food chain. Of course Berrico FoodCompany must be present. You will find us in our usual location in the collective Canadian presentation, clearly recognisable from our colourful and brightly lit stand. Stand 510 H, Hall 4. Canadian Pavilion. More countries are represented at BioFach, with Japan and Kenya collectively represented for the first time at this event. Response?


BUYER’S PROFILE

Get your goat…: DeJongCheese.

Goats are lively, curious, bold animals. The same could be said for goat keepers, at least certainly for the De Jong family from Alphen in Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands In the 1980s François and Arjen de Jong began milking goats on their father’s farm. Hundreds of goats, which was rare in those days. They wanted more, to expand, but the city council would not allow it. However, the brothers did not give up easily. They began processing the goatsmilk to produce cheese, to generate added value. That was in 1995. It was a decision with a fruitful outcome. Since then the company and their artisan cheese production underwent rapid growth, both in varieties and in quantities. They now process no less than nine million litres of milk annually, from just one million to begin with. Necessity and a lack of expansion possibilities were turned into a merit – to great success. In 2003 the cheese production had become so important that they had to make the decision not to keep their own goats any more, but to switch entirely to milk bought in from a fixed group of suppliers, including some organic goat keepers. The production increased steadily, as did the export to many countries, although this did not stop the company from doing very well in the local environment with its regional produce. DeJongCheese, as the company has been known since 2011, supplies goat’s cheese to the travelling trade, wholesalers

and supermarkets, and increasingly to health food shops in the domestic market and abroad. The curds – the first step in cheese making – are even sold worldwide, for processing into brie, camembert and other speciality cheeses. One of the inevitable successes of the company is fresh goat’s cheese with dried cranberries, which is popular in the Benelux, but also in the Czech Republic, Spain and Germany. Needless to say, the (organic) cranberries are supplied by Berrico FoodCompany. DeJongCheese is in every aspect a perfect illustration of the theme of this newsletter, in that the company turned need into merit, is innovative, collaborates closely with a range of parties, and is successful in both conventional and organic markets, as well as servicing the local market with its own regional produce. No gain without pain: DeJongCheese suffers from the higher cost of animal feed, while the supermarkets in particular want to drive down their buying prices. Fortunately the company has (many) more outlets beyond the supermarket channel. The more diverse the buyers, the greater the independence! DeJongCheese and Berrico FoodCompany: an example of a fruitful collaboration. Response?

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Collaboration Ever since its inception in 2001 Berrico FoodCompany has worked in close collaboration with the Canadian berry giant Fruit d’Or. In fact, we act as its European sales office and vice versa – we promote our buyers’ interests to our Canadian colleagues.

Fruit d’Or, such as the forthcoming BioFach. We are partners in the true sense. To supply other berries, often from other countries, for example in Asia or South America, we like to form strong alliances. Not out of indolence or profiteering, but with the intention to build a sustainable relationship and solid agreements on prices, quality, lead times, and transportation. Through these interactions one develops a mutual understanding and trust. By establishing strong, longstanding alliances we are much less vulnerable to the delusions of the day and to fluctuating market prices. Based on these politics we can, in turn, be an even more reliable and predictable partner for our buyers. And that, after all, is what it is all about. Response?

We believe in long-lasting, close collaborations by definition. The longer and more intensive the relationship is, the better partners learn to profit from each other’s opportunities. We primarily sell cranberries and blueberries from Fruit d’Or, but we do so in every conceivable form. Organic and conventional; Frozen, Dried, Juice, Puree, Powders. We also participate in global trade fairs along with

The Cranberries: Irish Rock. The Cranberries, an Irish (soft) rock band that has been livening up European stages since 1995. Originally they performed under the name ‘the cranberry saw us’, but later this was abbreviated to The Cranberries.

Phonetically, ‘cranberry saw us’ sounds like ‘cranberry sauce’, which was not unintentional. Aptly, the band’s repertoire is just like the berry: light, fresh and sour with a slight bitter note. Eventually, after nine years of touring around the globe, they ran out of steam, despite numerous successes around the world. Between 2004 to 2009 the group did not perform together, and lead singer Doloris O’Riordan launched a solo career. However, since 2009 the band has reformed and is back in action. Blood is thicker than water. In February 2012 the band released their first album in more than 10 years: Roses. Response?

Please send us your feedback…

Berrico FoodCompany bv P.O. Box 2296 8203 AG Lelystad Nederland Tel: +31 (0)320 266055 Fax: +31 (0)320 266050 E-mail: info@berricofood.com

We welcome comments and suggestions. We produce this newsletter to inform and inspire you and we are grateful for your input. Do you have some news that may be of interest to our other contacts? Tell us about it and perhaps we can include it on our website or in this newsletter. Do you have criticism? Let us know and we will endeavour to take it into account. Do you have a piece of news that may be suitable to include in this newsletter? Let us know! We welcome feedback!!

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Berrico Newsletter nr. 6, winter 2013  

Berrico Newsletter

Berrico Newsletter nr. 6, winter 2013  

Berrico Newsletter

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