Kristian Weijers, the Purchasing Manager at Heemskerk Fresh and Easy provided an overview of the operations, core mission, and the challenges at his company. 

Company overview 
Founded in 1960 by Wim Heemskerk, Heemskerk Fresh and Easy remains a family-owned business, rooted in tradition and values. Their mission revolves around making healthy eating easy and delicious, with a primary focus on serving customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The company's growth has been remarkable, with significant investments in automation and expansion to accommodate a diverse product range. 

Product range and global sourcing 
Heemskerk Fresh and Easy boasts an extensive product portfolio that has evolved over the years, including everything from simple soup vegetables in a bag to salads, meal kits, and freshly sliced produce. To meet this diverse range of products, they source over 400 ingredients, equivalent to a dazzling 1.5 million kilograms of product per week. Maintaining long-term relationships with suppliers is key, and quality control, including the Planet Proof certification, is a priority. 

Production process and logistics 
With a round-the-clock operation comprising 71 production lines and nearly 500 unique items, Heemskerk Fresh and Easy operates based on forecasts and real-time orders. Their dedication to freshness is evident through the efficient logistics network, with approximately 35 trucks ensuring timely delivery to customers daily. A flexible workforce of around 1,200 employees, a mix of permanent and temporary staff, allows them to adapt to changing demands. 

Data and sustainability 
Data accuracy is crucial to meet customer demand efficiently. Sustainability forms an integral part of their mission, with a focus on creating a healthier and happier world. Heemskerk Fresh and Easy recognizes the need for sustainable practices and is actively pursuing ways to reduce their environmental footprint. 

Modern lifestyles are often fast paced nowadays. At Heemskerk Fresh & Easy we respond to this with our diversity in products. With our new vision fit for future we keep innovating and renovating our ready-made vegetable products.


Kristian Weijers
Purchasing Manager, Heemskerk Fresh and Easy

Fresh produce market insights 
Kristian delved into the fresh produce market, where Heemskerk Fresh and Easy plays a significant role. Data highlighted the distribution of their products to supermarkets, food service establishments, and the growing online market. The company observed a shift in consumer preferences toward new meal kits and fresh-cut products, emphasizing the importance of convenience in modern lifestyles. 

Cabbage: A key Ingredient 
Cabbage emerged as a critical ingredient in Heemskerk Fresh and Easy's products. Market trends and challenges related to cabbage were explored, including the growing demand and the complexities of maintaining consistent quality and supply chain continuity. The discussion prompted an exchange of questions and answers from the audience, touching on organic products, salt usage, and plastic reduction efforts. 

Looking to the future 
Kristian concluded the presentation by discussing the company's commitment to product development and innovation, particularly in the ready-made meal segment. He emphasized their dedication to improving product quality and flavour and their openness to exploring unique offerings in the market. 

In summary, Heemskerk Fresh and Easy's presentation provided a comprehensive view of their operations, highlighting their dedication to delivering fresh, healthy products while striving for sustainability and innovation. The company's rich history, vision, and commitment to quality make them a notable player in the European fresh produce market.