Euronion Visits Zeeland 2015

by Jayne Dyas

The UK contingent have just returned from the 19th annual meeting of the Euronion group which was held in the Province of Zeeland, in the Netherlands this year. The aim of these meetings is to share market information from the season’s harvest and research of relevance to bulb onions within the EU countries. The meeting was hosted by the Holland Onion Association, part of the Fresh Produce Centre and the Province of Zeeland.

The meeting commenced on the afternoon of October 19th with the launch of a new internationally focused onion campaign from Holland – with their theme being:

More Than Just An Onion.

Over 150 guests, including the Euronion members were invited to this launch, with an opening address by the President of the Onion Association, Gijsbrecht Gunter. A summary of the European Market’s 2015 harvest was presented by Dr Hans-Christoph Behr, who is well known to UK growers as he has presented data on many occasions at our conferences. Wayne Mininger, Executive Vice President of the National Onion Association in the USA provided an onion marketing and strategy update with the concluding presentation being provided by Thomas Eskesen the former Vice President of Maersk. Samples of their huge celebratory onion cake were shared with all delegates – see photograph above.

The second day reverted to the usual Euronion format with crop reports per country, which are then summarised by Dr Hans-Christoph Behr. Peter Hartvig from Denmark presented the pesticide review which shows the approvals and losses of crop protection chemicals in each country; this is very useful for the UK to use to obtain approvals via the Mutual Recognition route. The group were then hosted by the King’s Commissioner to dinner in the historic County Hall in Middelburg.

The event concluded on Wednesday with visits to the Hazera Breeding Station and Wiskerke Onions who traded 150,000 tonnes of onions last year.