Organic? The question mark is not incidental. We can supply a large portion of our product range organic. It is not for nothing that we are Europe’s largest distributor of organic cranberries. However, organic cultivation demands a higher input and expertise from the grower, and the yields are substantially lower than in the conventional harvest. This all makes the organic product a relatively scarce commodity.
Organic products are grown, and later processed, with respect for nature, with respect for animals, without chemical pesticides and without artificial fertilisers. We demand the highest quality standards from the cultivation process through to the end product – that is our constant. Naturally, our organic products are SKAL certified.
In some respects the distinction between ‘conventional’ and organic is, however, misleading. Actually, ‘organic’ is extremely conventional, in the sense that it is conservative. Organic growers largely follow historic practices, from before the advent of artificial fertilisers and insecticides. Although the necessary new insights and techniques are now permitted in this field, the foundation for organic cultivation remains that the land-based crop is not artificially fertilised and is treated with natural insect and weed control methods (hoeing, controlling insects with insects).
Organic is more ‘natural’, but is also more exclusive and expensive than conventionally grown crops, because this method is less productive and much more labour intensive. That applies to berries and other fruits and vegetables, but also for poultry and cattle that is reared according to natural methods. Some berries, such as the cranberry, goji berry and wild blueberry, grow in a climate with cold winters. Insects and moulds are barely able to develop there, so we are able to deliver these berries in a good organic quality. But this has benefits in conventional cultivation too – there is less need to apply pesticides.
Berrico does not make value judgements. We focus primarily on quality and only secondarily on conventional or organic. We have many contacts with growers in both categories. This is how we have grown large in the niche market of the berry that continues to grow year on year. Over the years our share in the market for conventional products has kept up with the organic market. We are experiencing equal growth in both markets.
Our customers may expect impeccable quality from us, both in conventional and organic products. Moreover, Berrico ensures that no preservatives such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sorbic acid are used in the products – only natural ingredients!
Organic berries are by definition scarcer and more costly than conventional berries. Because it is a natural product, the prices can fluctuate more. This means that the price development of organic and conventional products can sometimes diverge widely. At other times the price differences are smaller. It is and remains a market of supply and demand. Berrico facilitates – the choice of our suppliers determines what we buy in.