TRADE AND MARKET I NG Young Farmers programme turns out to be a golden opportunity the year, while we actually don’t yet know what the harvest season is going to be like. And at the blue arrow, just before the turn of the year, you see that the market is rolling out and the lines are often leveling off. But we’re then almost half way through. So what does this teach us about bad years and dealing with the futures market? It teaches us that if the futures market around the green arrow is, for example, 10 euros, that’s when you have to make your purchase decision. Yet, we often don’t do that, because the 10 euros is an amount below the cost price. But it’s the highest price for the rest of the trading season. Which means, the best.’ With these figures at hand, Burgers can only conclude that the market has a very strong memory. ‘You don’t have to be a scientist to check the graphs. Everyone, including you as young farmers, can analyse them and act accordingly. Be bold In a reaction to Burgers’ story, as one of the attending young farmers, Gerben van Dueren-Den Hollander wanted to take the opportunity to call on his colleagues to collaborate in the price-setting. ‘What we’ve now learned is that in all those past years, the average market price was always above the contract price. As young farmers, we must now agree with each other that we won’t accept the contracts that we’re currently being presented with. We’ll then at least have covered that issue and we’ll also have some more competitive power. And if we then also arrange with Rabobank that they won’t oblige us to sign contracts before being allowed to take out a loan, we’ll all benefit from it. I hope that, as young entrepreneurs, we’re all bold enough to achieve this.’ In response, Burgers indicates that he doesn’t expect Rabobank to provide financing on the basis of signed contracts. ‘That’s not how I know them.’ He also believes that some businesses most definitely can’t do without a contract. He’s looking at large companies such as in Belgium with up to 700 hectares of potatoes, ‘They can’t afFord to grow only for the free market. If you have a year like last season, they’ll collaps too.’ Awareness is important, in his view. ‘You need to be sharper when it comes to establishing contracts. In that sense, it’s best to unite and seek good advice’, he agrees with the young farmer. Very successful, we’re seen as being important The speeches given by Rabobank and DCA were followed by two business presentations and a tour of the showground. The young farmers concluded the tour with a beer and a snack at the stand of machine manufacturer Grimme, where they stayed for a while and talked about the programme. As did the brothers Martijn, Sander and Jesse Langebeeke. All three of them are already closely involved in the arable farm of their parents, which is located in the polder near the village of Biddinghuizen Martijn is already the most advanced in the takeover phase. He has one foot in the business and also studies at the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Dronten. Sander is still a student of Plant Sciences at Wageningen UR and Jesse is a prospective student in Chemistry at Utrecht University. They indicated that they thought the meeting very successful, especially the lectures on taking over the business and politics. The fact that such a special programme was organised underlines, according to them, that ‘we are seen as an important generation’ and they appreciate that. They also indicated that they’re disappointed, as was MEP Schreijer-Pierik about the lack of sufficient government support. ‘For years, there have been promises, but the money isn’t forthcoming’, is what the brothers experience. Another young entrepreneur who enjoyed the programme is Jaap Nijssen. He works in partnership with his father-in-law Peter Bouman on an arable farm in the Hoeksche Waard. In the Young Farmers programme, he was particularly impressed by the lecture by Edwin Burgers. What he learned from it? ‘Grow as little as possible on contract. And that’s what we actually do, one third of the 18 hectares of potatoes is contract and two thirds is free. This involves the cultivation of the Ramos and Lady Anna French-fry varieties and the Hoeksche Rooie table potato variety. The total potato acreage on the 80-hectare farm is 18 hectares, says the young entrepreneur. ● Leo Hanse The brothers (from left to right) Martijn, Sander and Jesse Langebeeke indicated that they thought the meeting very successful, especially the lectures on taking over the business and politics. Potato World 2018 • number 4 17 Pagina 16

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