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Growers in Europe are going through energy crisis: Difficult times call for innovative solutions

A lot is happening in the world. This brings difficulties for many people. There is inflation, but also extreme weather conditions. This also influences the production of fruits and vegetables. Nevertheless, our growers stay positive. They use their knowledge and creativity so they can keep producing high quality produce. We keep in contact with our growers so we can keep providing you with the produce you need!. To get a better idea of what exactly is happening, we visited Bert Doelman, our zucchini grower.

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Fruits by air: Amazing quality and taste!

When I first heard the term 'by air' I didn't know what it meant. Looking back, it makes perfect sense and I am a big fan of these products. This made me curious about the concept of by air and what it involves. Are you also curious about this and which products we can supply by air? Then read on.

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How did we get Dutch Cranberries on our small island Terschelling?

Terschelling is one of the islands north of the Netherlands. It is a small island with an area of 674km2. Less than 5000 people live there. It is about 30km long and 4.5km wide.
Now you may be wondering: 'how is it possible that wild cranberries grow on this island?' That's a special story. Naturally, cranberries do not grow at all in the Netherlands. For the answer, we have to go back over 150 years.

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Corn is not a vegetable!

Many people think of corn as a vegetable in the form of a yellow corn cob that you can also pop popcorn with. But maize is more than that! The first misconception we must clear up is that maize is not a vegetable but a grain. The second misconception is that there are only yellow corn cobs. In this blog, we will show you this versatile cereal. Interesting for anyone who loves colourful and healthy cooking, hopefully you will be inspired.

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Ranging from a red chili to one of the hottest peppers around, Westland Peppers has it!

Westland Peppers is a family business that has been a partner since the beginning of BE Fresh Produce. It's located nearby Be Fresh. It had been a while so it was time to visit them again. Westland Peppers is specialized in growing all kinds of (hot) peppers. This ranges from the mild varieties to the famous Carolina Reaper. Many of their peppers go to countries nearby such as Germany, Belgium, England and Scandinavia. We try to spread these quality peppers further around the world so that everyone can try these hot peppers!

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Where do our sea vegetables come from? We looked into it!

The popularity of sea vegetables has been growing for several years now. These beautiful products are increasingly found in supermarkets and in recipes. And with good reason! There are plenty of different sea vegetables so there is always one that fits a recipe. The salty taste and texture provides a distinct flavor experience that you can' t compare with other products. Since many of the sea vegetables we sell come from the Netherlands itself, we went looking for these salty ingredients. Our supplier Elenbaas took us there!

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How to grow your own fruits and vegetables at home!

Maybe you've had a tomato plant or herb garden before. Great fun and easy too! Well, there are many more fruits and vegetables that you can grow at home. Often an excuse is: 'It will take so long before you get something in return'. But if you think back? How many avocado seeds have you thrown away over the years? They could have been beautiful trees by now! We have been working on our own orchard for a while now 😉 . Would you like some tips for growing fruits and vegetables at home? Read more!

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Are apples still fresh after a year?

Maybe you already knew it. Apples, among other fruits, can lie in a cold storage room for more than a year and still be sold fresh. It sounds impossible, but it really is true. By creating the right conditions in a storage unit, we can preserve freshness! But we need to be careful with these storage rooms because they are very dangerous. 

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Avojoy: A flexibel company with the highest quality avocado

Avojoy is one of our local partners. They focus entirely on providing premium avocados. It is a young and ambitious company and constantly expanding it's position in the world of fruits and vegetables. Their business concept succeeds by maintaining good relationships and with an innovative way of working. They do this intentionally ''slowly'' and step by step to ensure that they remain flexible and maintain the highest quality possible. A way of approach which fits well with BE Fresh

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Do you know about the Cressperience of Koppert Cress yet?

Chefs love it: cresses. Small sprouts with an intense flavour. A special addition in the kitchen. Many think it can only be used to garnish a dish. However, nothing is further from the truth, these cresses can be used in many ways. In order to show this, Koppert Cress organizes the 'Cressperience'. One of their chefs will show you the possibilities of these flavour bombs. We recently had the opportunity to try this Cressperience ourselves!

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The extraordinary world of mushrooms

Did you know that there are thousands of species of mushrooms? And that there are mushrooms which are parasitic, that means that they grow inside a live fly, slowly 'eat' it and then mushrooms grow out of the fly! And even more interesting, a mushroom which has the texture and taste of chicken! Well, some of us didn't know this either but after a visit to our mushroom supplier Funghi Funghi in Meer (Belgium) we know a lot more about these special fungi. Curious about the inspiration about mushrooms that we have gained? You can read more about it in this article!

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This is the best tomato for your pastas and soups

We recently paid an interesting visit to one of our new, unique tomato growers; Koos van der Burg. He has been growing tomatoes for over 30 years for one of the largest supermarktchains in the Netherlands, where only the best of the best tomatoes are accepted. He exclusively grows a special variety of plum tomatoes for them. He now grows these plum tomatoes for us as well so that we can also supply them! In addition, he can also supply us with something else exclusive... Find out more about the taste and exclusivity.

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Special lettuce varieties of BE Fresh!

Lettuce season is back! Have you ever looked beyond the normal lettuce varieties? Do you know the Oakleaf red, Lollo Rossa en Lollo Bionda for example? These varieties are unique and make a great combo with the culinary kitchen as a side dish, but also as a main dish / starter.

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The versatile green asparagus

We are in the middle of the asparagus season. After all these years, the green asparagus is still very popular and they even know how to get new customers interested in them. It is time to put the spotlight on the green asparagus, with an interview with our supplier from Peru.

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The juicy fruit with superpowers: mango!

The tropical fruit mango might be the ultimate snack for work. The mango (with it's juicy, sweet and sour pulp when it's ripe!) let's us relax and empowers our bones. How do you ripe a mango at home? I have dived into some mango facts, wanna read along?

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The one and only; Dutch Wasabi

A unique company “Dutch Wasabi” is located in De Lier, a picturesque town surrounded by windmills and meadows (can’t it be more Dutch?). Wasabi? Isn’t that from Japan? That’s right! But pioneer Sander van Kampen took the challenge to grow Wasabi in the Netherlands a couple years ago. How? Dutch Wasabi is the only company that grows wasabi in the Netherlands and it has grown to a successful company, selling delicious wasabi. We visited Sander and that turned out to be very fun and educational!

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Fresh tasty organic herbs in pot

It has been quite a long time ago, but finally we could make an international business trip again! Jorran and I made a visit to one of our top herbs (in pot) supplier in Belgium. A very interesting and innovative company with organic products.

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Why are professional chefs so in love with female zucchini?

Chefs love the female zucchini. Our supplier will tell you why the zucchini Fleur is so popular. In order to understand why, he will need to tell you about the harvest. Read along!

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Why eating yellow beetroot when there is red beetroot?

Everyone knows the red beetroot. You most probably have eaten it as a stew, as thin sliced carpaccio, in a salad … or even have drunk it as juice.
Did you know beetroot is there in many varieties and colours? Chioggia, forono beetroot, collard green leaves, sugar beet, white beet and yellow beet. The yellow, or golden beetroot, is getting more and more popular. Would you like to know why? I have worked it out for you, will you join me reading it?

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How can food give you and your Valentine a feeling of happiness?

The day of love: Valentine's Day, is near. Everyone knows having some food with your valentine is always a good idea. Are you planning on going to a restaurant, or cooking together? Please read this blog, because you can learn about aphrodisiac food. Especially useful for Valentine's Day, or any other special evening :).

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How the 'Queen of fruit' is available every day of the year

Strawberries, also known as the ‘queens of fruit’, are available every day of the year at BE Fresh. The origin can change per season. I interviewed a couple of enthusiastic and knowledgeable strawberry farmers, and I am really excited to bring you with me to the wonderful world of strawberries!

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How to take care of your second brain: fermentation

Fermentation is an ancient technique where carbs (sugars/starches) are converted into acid or alcohol with the help of yeast and bacteria. The alcohol and acids created act as natural preservative. Besides they give a distinct taste to the final product.

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Try your favorite Food Swap, eat healthier in small steps

Food swap is starting to become a trend, because if you are on a diet, rules can be frustrating. A lot of people want to eat healthier food, but all the food you want to eat might have a lot of calories, sugars or fat. Food swap is a way to eat everything you want to eat, but the only thing you have to do is swap some ingredients. I did some research and I found some good examples on which ingredients you can swap with others. Are you curious? Please, read along.

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Christmas is coming! Wild on the menu? These vegetables and fruit are a great choice

Christmas is around the corner! What’s on your menu? Did you know that healthy fruit and vegetables make a great combo with wild, even better than i thought. You can prepare meals in lots of ways, but how do you prepare vegetables and fruit with wild? Old- Maître Sommelier, from various high class restaurants, Michael, has a lot of tips and tricks to make your Christmas dinner one to remember!

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The special ripening process of an avocado

Yeah, you read that correctly, the ripening process of an avocado is special. Not all avocados ripe the same way, but the ‘Hass’ avocado does. For example, a strawberry doesn’t ripe after you’ve bought it, but the ripening process of an avocado can be stimulated by yourself! What does the ripening process look like, and how do you stimulate it? I researched it, want to read along?

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Radicchio brightens up your plate

Radicchio is part of the same family as chicory, but radicchio is the ace! Radicchio is popular, but sometimes you do not even know you are eating it, or if you have eaten it before. Why is radicchio so popular?

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Make 4 different products with Fennel

There are enough reasons to eat fennel, especially since it is in the superfoods category for health and medicines. Fennel is a seasoning for many types of dishes, because of the anise flavor. I researched fennel and I found out that it's too bad we still choose more common vegetables, fennel is such an all-around product to eat. This is what I found during my research.

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Does a perfect diet exist for pregnancy?

People always wonder what you should not eat during pregnancy. But are there things you should eat? What is a good product to eat before, during or after pregnancy? I will be looking for the answer in this blog. If you are pregnant, know someone who is pregnant or you just want to hear about some tips about a good diet during pregnancy, continue reading..

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High gas prices in Europe cause unaffordable Dutch greenhouse vegetables

The following newspaper headliners dominate not only the news in autumn 2021, but the conversations with our suppliers here at the office as well. Every supplier points out to empty out the greenhouses this coming winter. The artificial lighting of the crop has become unaffordable. Last year, the price per cubic meter was around 15 cents, which is now sevenfold to around 95 cents per cubic meter.

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What does 'Restaurant' actually mean?

After a long journey, our fruit and vegetables are finally nicely presented on a plate and served in a restaurant. But did you know that the word ‘Restaurant’ has more meaning than you think at first? Nowadays, restaurants can no longer be ignored in the villages and cities and they are (almost) affordable for everyone. I researched this word further and came to surprising insights. It has an interesting history and has had multiple meanings. It’s fun for everyone to tell on a birthday 😉, so read on quickly to find out!

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Explore this healthy option: Keto Lifestyle!

Taking good care of your body has never been so trendy. Everyone who thinks a healthy lifestyle is important is involved in it in a different way, but the similarities are mainly: healthy eating and exercising. Are you one of them? You probably no longer see the forest for the trees in all the information about food, diets and sports. At BE Fresh, we are convinced that it is not about dieting, but about the balance between nutritious food and slightly less healthy food. Especially adopting a healthy lifestyle that helps you to stay fit and vital. It is important that the lifestyle suits you, only then it will not cost you any effort.

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How are new fruits and vegetables created? And why?

We recently visited the most famous international vegetable breeding company; Rijk Zwaan. The invitation already promised a lot, because there were new products to see and taste! But why a new type of cucumber is being grown when the regular green cucumber is still fine? What innovation to a tomato can you still implement? I would like to take you with me on the trip I made with my colleagues.

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Salsify?! Let's give it a shine on your plate!

Salsify is the counterpart of asparagus. It is a special vegetable, wonderfully soft in taste, but which is often forgotten! Why is asparagus so popular and salsify is not? What is the difference between salsify and asparagus and what makes salsify so unique? Is it the taste, the look or is it something else? Our grower Julian has told us all about salsify, are you also curious? Read on quickly to get to know salsify!

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The differences and similartities between ginger and turmeric

Have you ever had this too? I don’t always see the difference between ginger and turmeric from the outside. These two uber healthy roots look almost the same, but there are differences. There are also many healthy similarities. I was very curious and searched for the differences and similarities of these powerful spices. Are you curious? Then read on quickly.

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Where do these extremely high container prices come from?

Container prices from China to Europe have risen very quickly within a year, from 1400 to 14,000 dollars per container! How is that possible?! And why 10 times as much? What are the consequences for the fruit and vegetable sector? We asked these and more questions to our import trade expert.
Are you reading along?

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Noooo... delay again! Why and how to solve?

It won't be the first time and certainly not the last; the plane assigned for your trade has been delayed. Bummerrr! As an importer of fruit and vegetables, you especially want to know: How long will the delay last? When will my pallets arrive? And you will think with concern: will the quality of the fruit and vegetables still be the same? Where do those delays come from and how can you avoid delays? We asked one of our airfreight agents.

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Is it a grape? No! Is it a kiwi? No! It's a kiwi berry!

Judging by the size and skin, you would think of a grape at first. When you cut the kiwiberry it looks like a kiwi, but it is a kiwiberry! The kiwi berry is a relative of the Actinidia family and is a small variant of the kiwi. The skin is not brown and hairy like the kiwi, but mostly green and smooth. The fruit grows wild in many parts of China. In addition, it can be found in countries such as Korea and in northwestern Siberia. Most of the kiwi berries are grown in Chile, the United States and in the country of the kiwi, New Zealand.

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There are several roads that lead to the mango. Let’s Mango!

Did you know that more than a thousand varieties of mangoes exist? The Kent and Keith mangoes are the most popular with our customers, because they are ‘wireless’ mangoes. Wireless? You too must have thought of your phone charger, but they are mangoes of which the flesh does not leave wires between your teeth ;).

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What are you going to eat? Listen to your body!

Okay, I hear you thinking. That's easy. I go for chocolate, cookies, candy or a nice fatty snack because my body says I have an appetite for that 😊. But the subject that we want to draw attention to here is slightly different 😉. The women among us probably know it. Just before my period starts, I get a very strong appetite for other types of food and in most cases this is chocolate. A pregnant woman can also crave for pickles for example. Even if you are not a woman or pregnant, you probably know such a moment. In this article I'm going to find out what intuitive eating is and I'm going to look for tips.

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Hay fever complaints? You must eat this!

Hatsjoe! “No, no corona, I suffer from hay fever.” Sneezing was no fun, but nowadays you also have to explain that it is hay fever ;) How do you get rid of that stuffy nose, sneezing, mucus in your throat and itchy eyes? Most people use hay fever medicines and only start using them when they have symptoms. But I have read an article about a natural way to reduce hay fever symptoms. That is a win-win situation.

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The edible sea vegetables of the underwater world

Ever since I was little I have been fortunate by living very close to the North Sea, only 5 minutes by bike and before you know it I'm walking barefoot through the surf. When the wind has blown inland over the sea, there is a good chance to find seaweed into the surf. It never occurred to me to take seaweed and have it for lunch. But seaweed has become an indispensable part of restaurants and the home kitchens. It's even super hip in Europe! What about that seaweed?

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Don't look at the size of the cherry

If I ask you what you think is of more importance: the size or the taste of the cherry? I'm 99.9% sure you're choosing flavour over size. Nevertheless, in the world of cherries, purchase is mainly based on the sizes of the cherry. Strange right? That is also what Roeland Hakkert of Megakers thinks. I spoke to him and learned a lot more interesting information and innovations.

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How happy is your customer?

This time no blog about fruit or vegetables, but a blog about customer satisfaction. A hot topic at BE Fresh. No company can exist without customers, so neither can we. But the degree to which your company is successful depends, among other things, on how happy the customer is.

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Do you want to be sure of sweet tomato?

The consumer, and so do we because we are all consumers;), love sweet tomatoes. Do you recognize that? You think you have picked the best tomatoes from the shelf, but once you have taken the first bite, the taste is disappointing. You've got your teeth into a bland and tasteless tomato. Yucky! Is there such a thing as a guarantee for sweet tomatoes?

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A healthy life gives you freedom

That is an awesome promise, but what is health exactly? Is it a matter of training hard in the gym and only eating fruits and vegetables to be healthy?

No, that certainly does not include everything about health, as health is a very broad and complex concept. There are so many different opinions that explain health in many different ways. From different angles and insights from studies, we have made a summary of how health is described and how to test your own health. Because by being healthy your way, you will experience a certain sense of freedom.

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Healthy food is expensive!

It is one of the many excuses that people come up with to walk out of the supermarket with a cart full of unhealthy groceries. Another frequently heard excuse is: "Healthy food takes longer to prepare" or "Healthy food tastes less good". In this blog we want to show you that healthy food does not have to be more expensive.

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An unique collaboration for the very best quality of tomatoes

I wish I  could let you taste these delicious cherry tomatoes from the Golden Taste brand. At first they look like all other cherry tomatoes, but this flavour is really different from what you are used to. The difference is mainly related to the very high brix* levels, aroma and the sweet and spicy taste.

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Have a happy Easter

Have yourself an eye catcher on the dining table this year! Brighten up your Easter brunch with a large bowl of EASTER PUNCH, decorate each guest's own glass with parts of orange, strawberry or pineapple.

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Ethylene gas doesn't sound natural, but it is!

When I heard about the use of ethylene gas in the ripening of fruits and vegetables, I initially thought of an artificial gas. It doesn't sound very bio, but nothing could be further from the truth. You cannot find more natural gasses such as ethylene. I found out after a good conversation with our Quality Controllers. If you also want to know more about this interesting natural phenomenon, please read on quickly.

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How is a quality capsicum grown?

We would like to take you into the world of a capsicum growing process, to highlight the flush during this process. What is a flush? How do flushes affect quality and weight?

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Whatever happened to rhubarb?

For me, rhubarb is strongly associated with my childhood. My grandmother used to make her own rhubarb compote and we would mix it through our yoghurt – delicious! In this day and age, I hardly ever hear anyone saying that they’ve eaten rhubarb. So I thought it’s time to learn more about it, and above all to find out: whatever happened to rhubarb?!

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How to assess the quality of fruit and vegetables?

BE Fresh has got a special Quality Control Team. All fruit and vegetables coming in our warehouse are checked and inspected for quality. All Quality Controllers have followed detailed product training courses and know exactly how  to inspect the product. In addition to the knowledge they also use various measuring instruments to determine the quality. Please take a look at the daily equipment of our Quality Controllers.

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The dilemma of air freight weights

Moving a skid full of fruit and vegetables from A to B by air freight. That may seem like an easy task, but it involves a lot more thinking than you might expect on forehand. It actually is a big puzzle with lots of commercial interests. We will try to explain this to you.

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Good intentions for the rest of your lives

Like every year, many people are making a tradition to start exercising, eat healthy, quit smoking, etc in the new year. Everyone really wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In one way or another, January 1 is a good time for many of us.

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6 tips: How do you eat healthy during the holidays? Includes 2 smart desserts!

Many people will celebrate holidays this December. Each in their own way, but we all have one thing in common; Christmas and New Year's Eve is all about food, especially a lot (and often unhealthy) food!
When you're living a healthy lifestyle, holiday dinners can be a challenge to resist temptation. With some clever tricks it is really possible to start the dinner in a responsible and healthy way, even during the holidays.

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The cultivation of green asparagus

During the public Holidays green asparagus are really wanted as dish. In many different ways asparagus are then served; asparagus au gratin, green asparagus in puff pastry wrapped in Parma ham and many other ways. Other options, what do you think of grilling this seasoning green asparagus in summer time?

We wanted to know more about the green asparagus itself, so we contacted our main supplier for green asparagus.

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Impressive cranberry harvest

Ripe cranberries are harvested from September to early November. This is done in two different ways; dry and wet harvesting. 95% of the cranberries are harvested the wet way.

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You (probably) did not know this about yellow frisée - curly endive

Yellow frisée is extremely popular among our customers, thousands of packages are shipped to 26 different countries every week. Why is yellow frisée that popular? Interviews with our supplier, customer and online research have resulted in fun and interesting facts and we are more than happy to share these with you.

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Are you familiar with the world of the wild mushroom?

You love them or you hate them, mushrooms. Please continue reading when you always have a box of white mushrooms in your shopping cart. Do you not like mushrooms? Please continue reading too, because there is a very tasteful world full of mushrooms that you probably didn't know about.

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Change of the tomato season (Holland - Spain)

Tomatoes are available all year round, but in the ‘land of tomatoes’ a seasonal change is happening every year in October and early March. The traditional tomato cultivation ends in the Netherlands in October and continues in countries such as Spain, Morocco, Tunisia and Italy from then, and of course the other way around in March. How does this seasonal change work and how does this affect availability and quality?

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Why would you want to become Vegan? Or why not?

Vegan is an increasingly popular lifestyle, according to which an estimated 75 million of the world's population lives. Others are curious and there are those who don't want to know about it. There are many questions, but also many misunderstandings about being Vegan. Did you knew that November 1 is the perfect day to learn more about a vegan lifestyle? During World Vegan Day, seminars, debates and workshops are organized. Perfect moment to ask your burning question.

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Don't just eat pumpkins during Halloween!

It's that time of year again, pumpkins are popping up everywhere. Because it is almost Halloween, they appear in the streets, but also in the supermarkets and restaurants. On the other hand, pumpkins are also delicious and especially responsible to eat throughout the whole year.

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Growing lettuce on water? Yes, we can!

The most modern and innovative method of growing lettuce is on water! Growing the lettuce plants in open ground is no longer necessary. The lettuce also receives all the right nutrients through the water. How? We will explain that cultivation process to you in detail.

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Preservation of the cold chain during travelling with huge temperature differences

Our fruit and vegetables will be on customers plates from New York to Japan. Our high quality products must be preserved throughout the journey, from field to fork. We call this the cold chain. An important part of this cold chain is the packaging material for pallets, I would like to tell you more about that.

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Harvesting of the Agria potato has started

Did you know that there is a difference in early, medium early and late potato varieties? This indicates the number of growing days that the varieties need to grow into high-quality potatoes. The early to medium early varieties grow quickly, but have less yield in numbers. Late varieties take longer to grow, but the output is higher and also the shelf life is longer.

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Baby spinach; grow a winter crop in the hot summers of Italy. We asked our grower how?

Baby spinach is also in high demand in the summer, while it is a real winter crop. Baby spinach often does not germinate above 22°C. But during the hot Italian summers, especially in July and August, the mercury can even linger at 28 to 30 degrees at night. You can imagine how difficult it is to provide the same production during the hot seasons.

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Why does the weight of lettuce fluctuates?

A normal head of lettuce weighs 300 grams. What is the reason that the weight of a head of lettuce drops to 220 to 230 grams at certain times of the year? We hear this questions on a regular basis. The answer to this question has everything to do with the big, yellow sun and our nature.

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Why are herbs difficult to obtain?

In some months it is difficult to obtain certain herbs. This has everything to do with the natural growth process of herbs. Let us explain. For herbs, it is spring from mid-April to late June. The best time for perennial crops like thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano and sage to reproduce by producing flowers. During this process, all energy goes to the flower and the energy supply of the plant is negligible. Result: quality and shelf life sometimes is below acceptable level, causing lower supply you are used to.

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How to boost your immune system?

Keep yourself resistant in these difficult times by keeping your immune system strong and healthy. How do you do that?

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Is there a good alternative to the Maris Piper?

A while ago, a customer asked us for the Maris Piper. It's a very popular variety in the UK, where it’s grown, but we prefer to source our potatoes as locally as possible. That’s why we mainly work with Aardappelhandel Kouters, because they choose farmers here in West Brabant or Zeeland, and occasionally just over the border in Belgium. So we took the liberty of offering the customer an alternative instead: Agria.

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‘Things need to change! Let’s take a different approach’

Monday 19 April 2010 – that’s the exact day that BE Fresh Produce was founded by Ard and Hans Bergwerff. The company is the realisation of their long-held dream: to start their own fresh produce company with a mission.

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