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meet the



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Digital Magazine

Table of content Natudis, Kroon and Hagor... we like Nature


The changes at Natudis, Kroon and Hagor are happening one after the other...

Natudis is growing in all areas


You must have noticed. Natudis Nederland B.V., including the fresh produce wholesaler Kroon and wholesaler Hagor located in Belgium...

Get inspired by...


25 original types of packaging

25 brazen questions for...


Peter van der Schoot, Business Unit Manager at Kroon.

25 popular Natudis products All the little treasures in a row...

You know it’s springtime when...

10 12

25 brazen questions for... Damien de Breuck, Business Unit Manager at Hagor.



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Natudis, Kroon and Hagor... we like Nature Welcome to the new Nature Magazine, a publication with which to share all kinds of Nature news. The changes at Natudis, Kroon and Hagor are happening one after the other. This is yet another result of the changes. From now on, we will be regularly informing you on what we’re working on; everything that moves us, inspires us and gets us going. For over 30 years, we as a Benelux wholesaler have worked to promote healthy food and a healthy lifestyle. Every day, we make efforts to improve our product ranges even more and to introduce new products that fit in with our natural wholesale trade. For over 25 years, our customers and business contacts have known our Natuurwinkel formula, of which we have recently opened our 25th shop. Reason enough for us to share this with you, our readers. To celebrate this together; a celebration of growth and the future. It’s important to us to shape a sustainable world with you by offering the best products that nature gives us, including both groceries and our fresh product range. To encourage natural nutrition and the use of natural food together with our (future) customers and to achieve a balanced dietary pattern, but also to work towards a more balanced Earth. We are able to receive food from the cross-pollination between human and nature. With that comes a certain responsibility for this nature, for our farmers and manufacturers, for you as an entrepreneur and for our customers. Our dream is for you to share these ideals with us so that everyone can make their own contribution. Wouldn’t that be great? In this publication, you will get to know us a bit better, and we would like to inspire you with fun information and ideas. All connected with nature in a natural lifestyle. Happy reading!

Petra van der Linden - Steenvoorden Brussen CEO of Natudis

Natudis is growing in all areas

page 5

You must have noticed. Natudis Nederland B.V., including the fresh produce wholesaler Kroon and wholesaler Hagor located in Belgium, was officially taken over by the family company Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V. last April. There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the takeover and how we at Nature experienced it. But how well do you know the Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V. company? We expect that you are curious about the history of our new shareholder. That’s why we’ve put together a brief history of how Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V. came to be.

The forties

Bright future

Vroegop-Windig is a family company with a rich history. After a

Pieter Vroegop (CEO Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V.): “This takeover is

few years of experience in his own produce shop, Piet Vroegop

very important to us, because we can learn from Natudis’

started a wholesale business in 1940 in national produce at the

knowledge and experience with organic food. We already had a

Amsterdam Food Centre. After a few years, his sons also joined

focus on organic food, but with this collaboration, I expect to be

the business, giving the business the name P. Vroegop & Sons.

able to take some important steps sooner, giving Natudis even

To accommodate changing customer needs, their product range

more room to work independently in the organic market”.

was expanded to provide produce from abroad. We had already started our collaboration with fresh produce In 1966 for example, the business merged with Ruhe, a specialist

wholesaler Kroon, but it too will be intensified. We also have a

in citrus fruits and bananas. Furthermore, the Windig takeover in

very positive impression of the Belgian wholesaler Hagor. All in

1996 brought in specific knowledge of exotic foods. In addition

all, the takeover has been an enrichment of the company.

to produce import and sales, logistics services took on a much larger role. In 2006, an ultra-modern distribution centre was

Solid & Passion

opened in Bleiswijk, from which they could supply products to

Through the years, Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V. has proved to be

mainly retail customers.

a solid business which can adapt well to changing situations and can establish close cooperation with staff, customers and


partners through mutual dedication. The passion for the trade,

Apart from Natudis, Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V. currently consists of

and market and product knowledge can be found everywhere in

2 subsidiaries; Vroegop-Windig and De Kweker. Vroegop-Windig

the company.

is a produce wholesaler (in potatoes, fruits and vegetables) and organic, sustainable produce selling nationally in the retail

Our companies fit together very well. Therefore, we are very

and food service industries. De Kweker is a wholesaler in fresh

happy with the takeover. We feel that Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V.

foods (produce, meats, fish, cheese, dairy and bread) and dry

supports our vision and can continue our set course.

groceries as well as non-food (kitchen and restaurant supplies)

“Our view is that joining forces between Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V.

with self-serve wholesale markets in Amsterdam and Purmerend

and Natudis Nederland B.V. will lead to a great collaboration,

and delivery wholesale markets in Amsterdam, Wervershoof and

further increasing the focus on a healthy Earth and healthy food”,

Texel for food professionals.

says Petra van der Linden - Steenvoorden Brussen (CEO of Natudis).

Through the years, Vroegop Ruhe & Co B.V. has proved to be a solid business which can adapt well to changing situations and can establish close cooperation with staff, customers and partners through mutual dedication. The passion for the trade, and market and product knowledge can be found everywhere in the company.

Get inspi

25 original type

Empire State Sp


Handy li ttle olive oi l for your salad to g o

A scoop of butter...

Seeing through rosĂŠ-coloured glasses...

ired by...

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es of packaging




ra s, st cake Cup n e v the o

e cr





25 brazen questions for...

Peter van der Schoot, Business Unitmanager at Kr oon

Most of us know Business Unit Manager Peter van der Schoot. We see him at trade fairs, in shops, at branch meetings….. But how well do we really know him? In this interview, we’ll get to know Peter even better as a professional, but especially as a human of Nature. What is the weirdest item in your pro-

n’t work for Kroon?

shop on the ground floor, where they prepare

duct range?

I would probably open my own organic wine

meals on the spot that you can take with you,

Drunk cheese………

bar. It might sound like a dream, but I would

and upstairs on the first floor they have an

love to let people taste delicious wines and tell

organic restaurant, where they use fresh

them all about them.

ingredients to make delicious meals.

To avoid having to pay taxes, the farmers used

What position would you most like

to hide the cheese under the grape must: the

to have if you weren’t a business unit

little skins and seeds that were left over from


making wine. After a few weeks, when the

I would love to be a reporter for the Michelin

cheeses were taken out again, they found that


“Why I prefer not to drink wheat grass juice? You should try it, then you’ll know why...”

What makes it so weird? In Italy, they used to charge taxes on cheese.

they had developed somewhat of a unique taste. Nearby Venice, at the foot of the Alps,

What is your least favourite thing about

a certain cheese factory still makes “Drunk

your current position?

cheese” in the exact same way.

Approving invoices!

Which kind of service could you think of

Which item in your product range will

that does not exist yet?

you get out of bed for?

A practical way of bringing the consumer closer to the manufacturer, famer or grower the moment they make a purchase.

Our Demeter asparagus from the Watertuin. Our grower Gaveshi Reus really has the most fantastic asparagus; I always look forward to having them again. Whenever springtime

What is the most unusual request

comes around, I get that feeling again… and

you’ve ever got from a customer?

Peet de Krom’s strawberries; those are really

A request to provide organic, edible little flo-

just summer sweets for me.

wers for on a customer’s wedding cake. What is your favourite professional And what did you say to that unusual



Bouillon, which is not really a professional

Of course we can.

magazine but a culinary magazine, with great culinary stories. It’s a real treat to read.

What item from your product range would you rather not eat/drink?

Which shop inspires you the most?

Wheat grass juice.

Many different ones; I really like Eataly in Italy, where fresh products are prepared on the spot

Why not?

in the shop. Fresh & Wild in London, one of its

You should try it, then you’ll know why...

first organic shops. I also went to an organic shop in Dublin, in the basement they had an

Where would you like to work if you did-

organic wine bar, with an organic delicatessen

In short: it’s inspiring. I find it generally inspiring to visit shops; it is often the smallest details that make the shop more than just a location where you purchase your products. What would you like to see change right away in our branch? I would like to shift our thinking to one that focuses more on the entire chain, valuing all the components of the chain. That also includes the wholesale market, which is often seen as a redundant part between the farmer and the shops. In my opinion, the wholesale market can help to reinforce the chain and functions as the oil between the cogs of the chain. That way, we can achieve efficiency, coordination of supply and demand, and of course the whole logistics circus. Which Facebook or Twitter accounts do you like to follow? None; to be honest, I actually can’t stand Facebook and Twitter. I don’t really feel the need to constantly tell the world where I am. I

also have the feeling that people tend to only

Italy. Buratta is cream-filled mozzarella. I had

put out positive images of their lives, making

some when I was in Italy. Tomato carpaccio

it a one-sided medium, so I guess it’s more of

with buratta, a bit of sea salt and delicious

a Fakebook. I realise this may make me old-

olive oil. It was really amazing. I would love to


import it. It would be quite a challenge since it

page 9

can only be kept up to 14 days, is made by a How do you keep up to date on the

small-scale Italian farmer and is unknown to

newest developments in business/ma-

many consumers. I do, however, hope that we

hall in Papendal. It showed me just how much

can start importing it before summer starts, as

you have to train to reach your goal. And that

it’s too delicious not to.

willpower alone is not enough; you also need

nagement? Mostly by talking to a lot of people in the

to have enormous passion for what you’re

industry. Where will Kroon be in five years? Which development in the previous question do you agree most with? It’s more of an insight than a development. It’s from the book by Stephen Covey, about the 8 habits of effective leadership. According to Covey, effective leadership and change are best done in three steps. The first step comprises three habits, geared towards personal and individual development. They enable you to


In five years, it will have both feet on the ground. We always keep working hard to pro-

What is the best promotion campaign

vide the service and quality we have had until

you have ever led?

now. You’re only as good as your last achie-

Red de Rijke Weide Kaas [Save the Rich Pas-

vement, which means that you have to offer quality day in day out, and always do your best to find new products, making our customers and consumers happy.

ture Cheese]. That was a great project we set up together with Henk Pelleboer and the Dutch Bird Protection Foundation. It was a prime example of how you can involve consumers in societal issues with a product and make it vi-

establish yourself as an independent person.

How do you want your customers to see

sible in their living environment. The money is

The next three habits are about effective col-


directly invested in Rijke Weide [rich pasture].

laboration and constitute the second step. The

As an innovative, collaborative wholesaler.

seventh habit is about developing and maintai-

One who’s capable of connecting manufac-

Which business decision for Kroon will

ning the other six habits. This habit constitutes

turers and shops/consumers. So that the

you never regret?

the third step, together with the eighth habit:

products we sell are not anonymous and thus have added value for consumers. If a product

The collaboration we entered into with

people’s ability to live up to their own potential and to inspire others to do the same.

has that added value, it’s not about the lowest price, but more about the right price.

into practice?

What other player in the organic foods

By working on the company together with the

industry do you respect a lot?

Kroon team, with an enormous passion for

I respect many players in this industry, inclu-

organic products. In this process, everyone

ding De Groene passage. That collection of

has their own individual qualities which contri-

entrepreneurs has been around for over 15

bute to the total result. Everyone is incredibly

years, and is still a role model in sustainability,

important in this, as we are all dependent on

innovation and collaboration. Not only in its

each other. This togetherness has given our

story, but also in day to day operations.

people pride and great drive to develop Kroon What other player in the non-organic foods industry do you respect a lot? Which item would you like to add to

Daphne Schippers; at the World Champion-

your product range that you don’t al-

ships in Moscow she won the first women’s

ready have?

bronze medal in Dutch history. A year ago, my

Buratta; we found a fantastic manufacturer in

in the most beautiful organic company in the Benelux, with a new entrepreneurial zest, with a focus on service, quality and involvement

And how have you put that development

even further.

Vroegop 3 years ago, which has now resulted

daughter got to train with her at the Olympic

with our customers and suppliers.

Foun ded: In th 16/0 e gr 9/19 oup: Loca 93 22/ tion 0 4 : /201 0 Food Cen • A tre i ppro nA mst x. 10 • Fr erda 00 p esh m r oduc a n d fr t • D s ; a ozen elica ll or gan tess prod en b ic ucts rand s lik e PU UR

25 popular

natudis products


Mild olive oil


page 11

Mixed nuts




Vegetable broth 1 kilo



Rustico multigrain





Terschellinger Cranberry juice


Mixed nut paste


Ciabatta Rustica

Green & Blacks Dark chocolate 85%


Almond drink



7. Vivani


Dark Chocolate 92%




Apple concentrate

Dr. Karg

Pain Campagnard

Spelt with seeds


Agave syrup







Vegetable broth 400 gram


Omega & More

Rice drink original

Coconut oil


Pan Carré


16. Horizon

Almond paste

De Halm

17. Schär

Ertha sourdough bread


18. Provamel Vivani

Dark chocolate 85%



Brown almonds






You know it’s springtime when... 1.

you wake up in the morning and you hear birds singing


cafés have put their tables outside and you have to wait for a seat


it’s too cold for skimpy spring clothes in the shade


your cheeks get sunburned


the smell of freshly mowed grass is in the air


the cows are dancing in the meadow!


buds and blossoms appear in the trees


meadow larks are returning to the Dutch meadows


rosé tastes like rosé again

10. you can get on your bicycle in the morning without putting gloves on first 11. you can hang up your clean laundry outside again 12. you see the first little lambs of the season out in the meadows 13. freckles that had been hiding during winter time come out again 14. you don’t need your blush and bronzing powder anymore 15. doors to the backyard can stay open all day, which pleases the pets 16. you can walk outside in your pyjamas without freezing 17. you get less disciplined in making appointments, deadlines etc. 18. you stay outside much longer, because you want to keep the feeling of that first sun on your skin 19. you feel like eating delicious salads as a main course 20. you refill the flower pots and get the garden furniture outside 21. it’s still just the right amount of nippy out to order a hot beverage 22. bare legs! 23. you wake up on Sunday from the neighbours rinsing their backyard terrace 24. the sun doesn’t go down until late 25. you can order iced tea instead of hot tea

page 13

25 brazen questions for...

Damien de Breuck, Business Unitmanager at Ha gor

Damien Breuck is our Business Unit Manager at Belgian wholesaler Hagor. Not everyone knows about our operations in Belgium and that’s why we’re giving you an inside look in the professional life of Damien, our Nature manager.

What is the weirdest item in your product range? Snail syrup. What makes it so weird? The name. When I first discovered the product in our range, I wondered whether it really had anything to do with snails. And yet, this syrup really does contain extracts from vineyard snails. The product has a healing effect on coughing… so there you go. Which item would you like to add to your product range that you don’t already have? There are many products of which I would like to introduce an organic version. An example is organic yeast, to name one.

Why would you rather not eat it? It has a very strong, quite unpleasant taste. I can’t really describe it; it’s been a long time since I last had it. Where would you like to work if you didn’t work for Kroon/Hagor? Probably for an NGO or at another organic company. What position would you most like to have if you weren’t a business unit manager/country manager? I would certainly be interested in a position as project manager. I would enjoy setting things up and guiding them to a good ending. This may not always be easy, but it’ll certainly keep you busy and often has lots of variety due to its multidisciplinary nature.

Which kind of service could you think of that does not exist yet? I don’t really have an answer for that off the top of my head. But I can imagine that new technologies could play a part in it.

What is your least favourite thing

What item from your product range

Which item in your product range will

would you rather not eat/drink? Peanut butter. That may not be the answer our neighbours to the north want to hear, but I really don’t like the taste. I have had the opportunity to try lots of delicious products.

you get out of bed for? That might be going a bit far... But there are lots of products I really love. I really love Fior di Frutta mandarin jam.” Then I would also enjoy a glass of Pizzolato Prosecco. Truly refreshing and pleasant. The LunaeTerra standard tree apple juice is

about your current position? I don’t like administrative work. It needs to be done, but it really is far from exciting.

top quality. And I could go on. What is your favourite professional magazine? I can always learn a lot from retail magazines. They provide insights on the

“I really love Fior di Frutta mandarin jam.” upcoming retail evolutions and product trends. The French magazine Linéaires is a good example. Linéaires also distributes a version about the organic market in France. Which trade fair inspires you the most? In our industry, I find Biofach the most inspiring. It’s more because of the contacts than the products. What would you like to see change right away in our branch? I would like to have all orders come in digitally, allowing them to be processed more quickly and more accurately. At the moment, we spend loads of time simply entering orders, which can result in mistakes due to lack of time. Which Facebook or Twitter accounts do you like to follow?

To be honest: very few. We are bombarded by so much information/messages as it is that I spend little time doing targeted searches through social media. When I do need specific information, I surf the web until I find something of value. How do you keep up to date on the newest developments in business/ management? Through the internet on websites like De Tijd. I also find that the business magazine CXO is worth looking through. Furthermore, I find that conversations with people from this industry or other industries are a source of inspiration for your activities. Which development in the previous question do you agree most with? The evolution of online shops and their implications for the retail trade. The ways in which consumers are kept up to date through communication technology on promotional offers, innovative products and services. There’s no stopping it. And how have you put that development into practice? We are still far-removed from all of that. But the fact is that we have to be alert and mustn’t ignore this development. Where will Hagor be in five years? Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do think that the development of various technologies will have influence Hagor’s development. How do you want your customers to see Kroon/Hagor? I want our customers to see Hagor as a reliable, high-quality, customer-friendly and service-oriented partner. A partner who can also provide added value in service and

product range. We are still far from perfect and are aware that there are still steps we can and should take. What other player in the organic foods industry do you respect a lot? Not one company in particular. I do, however, respect entrepreneurs who had the courage to start their company and turn their vision into a success story. I take my hat off to them.

page 15

Do you think there’s a clear difference in your product range sales between French-speaking and Dutch-speaking

What other player in the non-organic foods industry do you respect a lot? I respect starters who put products or services on the market using good, innovative ideas and then turn out to become very successful. Facebook is a good example. Companies who take societal aspects into account also deserve a pat on the back.

consumers? First and foremost, languages on packaging play a role. French-language brands do better in proportion in the south of the country than they do in Flanders. Taste makes a big difference as well.

What about working for a Dutch company took the most getting used to? I had to get used to the culinary side of things. Meat croquettes and milk for lunch was quite the odd combination. But in the meantime, I’ve very much come to enjoy the delicious organic salads at Natudis. Besides that, I suppose the Dutch are a bit more direct. That took a little adjustment as well. But it has been very pleasant working with them. What kinds of products do you market in Belgium that don’t do so well in the Netherlands? Let me think for a moment... I can’t think of anything. Is there a reason for it? I think it’s because the Dutch and Belgian markets are very similar.

Foun ded: 2 In th 9/06 e gr /196 oup: Loca 30/0 3 tion 6/2 : 000 Wijg maa • A l, Be ppro lgiu x. 6 m • al 000 l org prod anic ucts • G roce ry p rodu cts

walk over your twinkling thoughts dance among whirling splashes of colour look through the mirrors of your dreams grow and feel the light smiling at you

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