Much of Belgium’s produce stays in Europe or is distributed globally via the Netherlands

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Elite Fresh Trade opened its doors this year. With this newly established Belgian company, CEO Tuncer Akarca wants to specialize in exporting high-quality local products via air and sea freight. “The quality of Belgian fruit and vegetables is known worldwide, but often, there’s a lack of knowledge about their possibilities. We aim to share those products’ diversity globally via strong customer relationships,” Tuncer, who is also actively involved with Elite Foods, begins.

Despite both companies operating under one roof, Elite Fresh Trade is entirely independent. It specializes in high-quality Belgian products. “That, however, doesn’t mean we cannot benefit from each other’s strengths,” says Sevde Akarca, responsible for exports to the Middle East and North America.

“But, many Belgian fruits and vegetables remain within European borders or are sent worldwide via the Netherlands. Elite Foods increasingly received requests to make Belgian’s well-known high quality available globally. This country is known for not only waffles and chocolate but also beautiful fresh products.”

“Products like chicory, (specialty) tomatoes, potatoes, and pears. Products Belgian growers work hard every single day to ensure they can reach store shelves. Hearing these growers’ stories about the work involved in always delivering the best quality is something to be proud of. We want to maintain that quality, so we want to fly these products to destinations that would otherwise not quickly become familiar with Belgian fresh products,” Sevde explains.

Quality above quantity
Elite Fresh Trade, therefore, buys its products daily from growers, traders, or cooperatives and then flies them, ready-to-eat, to destinations such as Toronto, Shanghai, or Qatar. “There’s, obviously, a price tag attached to that. That’s just the way it is with fresh-bought, speedily delivered, high-quality products. We don’t trade huge volumes, but we invest in relationships where we can build fixed lines. You shouldn’t think of large chains, but greengrocers that want to spend money on working with quality produce.”

“We often hear chicory is a lovely product, but people wonder how to use it. It’s our job to talk to local traders about product versatility. You can use chicory for more than just cold in salads; you can add it to just about any dish. That also applies to, for example, specialty tomatoes, too. They can be a beautiful addition to local delicacies.” says co-owner Glenn.

“Though that requires the necessary investment, it’s what sets us apart. We already deliver some of our products worldwide but want to take the next step. Along with our partners, we want to introduce innovative concepts across the globe. We want to highlight quality, not only as a supplier but especially as a partner.”

“Hassna, our dedicated organic division leader, also brings in-depth expertise regarding quality organic fruits and vegetables. With a focus on sustainable agriculture, she wants to strengthen local communities and support small-scale farmers. Hassna’s commitment to freshness and healthy food reflects our mission to promote a healthy lifestyle. Her organic story calls for environmentally responsible practices, with which she wants to enrich the food industry,” Glenn explains.

Added value
That start has now been made, but Elite Fresh Trade sees these partnerships gaining it a place in the market. “That starts with our staff. Our brand new team complements each other nicely and wants to consider each other’s as well as customers’ and suppliers’ needs and interests. Clients must know who they’re dealing with and can always assume they’ll receive optimal quality,” says Tuncer.

“That extra service extends to being available 24/7 and wanting to think about buyers’ interests. We expect to explore the market together with our partners and look at how we can best bring Belgian products to end customers. Then we create added value for them, but they for us, too. A win-win client relationship, with which you can consider the future,” Tuncer concludes.

Elite Fresh Trade will be present, along with Elite Foods, for the first time at the upcoming Fruit Logistica in Hall 27, C-67.

For more information:
Tuncer Akarca
Elite Fresh Trade
Dock 540, 120 Mechelsesteenweg
2860, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, BE
Tel.: +32 (0) 156 33 746
info@elitefoods.be
www.elitefreshtrade.com

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