Messem believes in quality and reliability through partnerships
Quality starts at the roots
For Messem, quality and reliability starts at the roots. Long-lasting and close relationships with the farmers lay the foundation for this. Prior to each strawberry season, Messem formally agrees on the following with its farmers:
– Quality of the strawberries
– Use of pesticides
– Hygiene levels at the farms
– Compliance with social legislation
Prices and volumes can also be agreed upon, but most farmers prefer the liberty of a free market system. In order to obtain the strawberries, Messem has to offer competitive prices.
Initiative of sustainability committee takes off
Together with other professionals in the strawberry industry, Messem initiated a Comité Sanitaire (Health Committee) in 2015, which has since been renamed the Sustainability Committee. All members have agreed to apply the same high standards and use the same methods to audit farmers. A so-called ‘flying squad’ visits the farms on a daily basis to guide and consult the farmers in all day-to-day issues that may occur.
‘Approved’ or ‘Preferred’
Based on their performance, famers are categorized as ‘Approved’ or ‘Preferred’. Only farmers who have reached the ‘Preferred’ status are eligible for bonuses.