A look back on a momentous year

In early 2020, Waterman Onions announced that the Purchasing Team would be reinforced with the arrival of purchaser Jelmer Elzinga in March. Since then, Jelmer has been responsible for the product flow of carefully chosen onions together with Remko Wilms and Nathan Rommens.

How it all began
Jelmer has been working as a purchaser at Waterman Onions for almost a full year now. He started in a turbulent period, just as the first intelligent lockdown was implemented in the Netherlands. Since then, the Netherlands has been forced to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purchasing team has noticed some of its effects in its day-to-day work. As a purchaser, Jelmer tries to evaluate the onions purchased or offered together with the growers whenever possible.

Jelmer looks back on his first year: “Waterman Onions is a great company to work for. A lot is going on here, but we also see some room for improvement. Together with my colleagues in the Waterman Onions purchasing department, we try to keep the production lines supplied with the best possible input of onions. The onion sector is growing in the north and east of the country at the moment. When I first arrived at Waterman, I had the opportunity to purchase quite a few onions from a lot of growers, and many of them have already been processed and packaged for our buyers. It’s great to watch that happen!”

Quality in storage
Jelmer continues: “At the moment, we’ve noticed that there’s some variation in the quality of onion storage. Red onions are especially susceptible to damage from thrips, which can cause problems with peeled onions. It seems like thrips are causing more damage lately, in part due to the prohibition on IC seeds and the warm, dry summers. We’ve also noticed some problems with quality, bacteria and damage in yellow onions. But many parties don’t have these problems, and we’re still able to find enough high-quality onions to package over the coming months.”

 Next season
“We’re all looking forward to a world without COVID-19. But here, we’re also looking forward to the new growing season. We expect a slight increase in acreage planted, and a shift in the growing area from the south to the north and east of the country”, says Jelmer.

Growers can also rely on us for another season’s supply of onion seeds via the recently launched website www.uienzaadonline.nl or by contacting Nathan or Jelmer. Jelmer: “Several popular varieties are already sold out, but we can still offer suitable recommendations for the grower regarding quality, transparency and a fair price.”