In a conversation with Gijs Geene: “The enthusiasm and drive exhibited by farmers towards their sweet potatoes is contagious”

28 May 2024

Gijs, account manager at SPOT, visited farms in North Carolina. Today, he looks back on his trip. One thing is for sure; it was special. Why? Read on quickly!

“Since it was my first time visiting America, I was filled with excitement beforehand. Despite daily interactions with growers, we had never met in real life, meeting them in person was long overdue.”

 

A Tour of the Farms

Gijs went to America to meet the growers and witness firsthand the entire process from harvesting to packing. “Every morning started with breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Upon arriving at the farm, we walked around the sweet potato fields with the grower. Time after time, the sheer scale of each farm left me in awe. Moreover, the dedication and passion displayed by the growers towards their product were truly remarkable.”

 

Building Relationships

Building strong and personal relationships is very important to us at Farmhouse. While we have a lot of contact by phone and mail, nothing compares to visiting the farms. “I found people in America to be incredibly warm and welcoming. We were graciously hosted by all, with several partners even treating us to dinners featuring—you guessed it—sweet potatoes! The atmosphere during these visits was delightful, providing ample opportunity to forge both business and personal bonds. Getting to know the individuals behind the companies was incredibly insightful and enjoyable.”

 

Be happy, be involved, be proud…

…these are the core values we strive for at Farmhouse. Not just in the office, but throughout the chain. “In total, we visited ten growers. It was heartening to witness the pride each grower held for their crops, practices, and facilities. The enthusiasm radiated from each partner. It was very contagious! Together, we reflected on the past season and eagerly anticipated the one ahead. The outlook appears promising, which makes us happy. All in all, it was a very valuable and instructive trip. While it was my first time in America, it certainly won’t be my last!”