The story of Geert-Jan Smits
“Our knowledge of the product enables us to inspire our visitors”
Geert-Jan Smits is Retail Formula Manager at Ekoplaza. What began as a single local organic store in Amsterdam in 1980 has grown to become the largest organic chain in the Benelux region. Over the years, thanks to a sustainable approach to collaboration and a strong vision about healthy yet great-tasting food, Ekoplaza has expanded into a chain of around 70 shops across the Netherlands.
The key to succes
“The nice thing about our stores is our position in the retail landscape. In the midst of all the turmoil relating to food, we are a safe haven for everyone who wants to make conscious food choices. The keys to Ekoplaza’s success are our transparency, collaboration with suppliers and our conscious decision to carry a 100%-organic product range.”
“We differ from other retailers that also offer organic products in that we have direct contact with our suppliers. As a result, there is complete reliability with respect to the product and the supplier alike. The major challenges for Ekoplaza are ensuring the availability of fresh products and the right quality of both the product and the grower. Thanks to its varieties, technical expertise and international network, Rijk Zwaan can play a significant role in this.”
“Another way that Rijk Zwaan adds value is by sharing its knowledge of the product on sale in stores. Where has it come from? Which nutrients does it contain? How can it be used? This ensures that shoppers learn more about the product and become even more inspired to eat healthily and tastily.”