Export in the time of Corona

Until recently, the only association many people had with corona was limited to Mexican beer. Or rather, light-colored beer from a bottle with a piece of lemon or lime in the bottle neck (originally intended to ward off flies and other critters), a custom that has become a habit especially outside Mexico. Meanwhile, everyone has a different association with corona. The virus affects everything and everyone, worldwide, in non-vital and vital sectors and therefore certainly also our business: the international food world.

This sector never stands still, after all, a human being has to eat. In the beginning there seemed to be mainly logistical challenges given the empty shelves in the shops on the one hand and full distribution centers on the other. But coming to a standstill and thinking about what we were doing – apart from all the urgent problems – remains also important for food entrepreneurs. What did we agree upon with the team in those strategic sessions? Where did we want to stand again in five years? For many, internationalizing is at the top of the list of ambitions. Because the home country often is too small to get added value concepts really profitable. Because scaling up and looking for your consumers outside our borders is essential. Because potential must also be sought for sustainable concepts in the right target group. The Netherlands is an open country, as prime minister Rutte put it in his speech. That’s not going to change, we can’t close the borders forever. We are and remain connected to the rest of the world, where people live that are more similar to us than we sometimes realize. Internationalization remains important in this. Perhaps exports will increasingly play a different role: from product transport to knowledge transfer. From dragging stuff around the world to producing more and more locally. The solutions to sustainability and climate issues lie in smarter innovation, looking at how to do better. A good time perhaps to think about this now, now that we are massively obliged to stay home.

Entrepreneurship is taking risks. And international entrepreneurship as well. But we prefer to limit the risks as much as possible and that can be done by a good preparation. It often takes months or years before your product is actually on the foreign (online) shelf. That is why we are currently mapping the organic sectors in Western Europe, investigating the opportunities for fermented products, coaching entrepreneurs who invest in products based on ‘rescued’ food. Take this corona time to prepare well for new directions, new opportunities, new opportunities for your business. We at TEN the export network would like to think along with you.

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TEN the export network

P.O. Box 339

8440 AH Heerenveen


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