“The Netherlands is an ideal country for distribution. You find the Dutch all over the world; we are pioneers, we go after something and see whether there are opportunities for trade. We are open to other cultures and we network well. It’s safe here, too. Visitors from Asia and the United States find it very laid-back and agreeable here.

With its large trawling fleet and the biggest fish market in Western Europe, Urk is central to the Dutch fishing industry. To ensure it stays that way, local government, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the Flevoland Development Agency are jointly supporting the North Sea Fish Centre (NSFC), a new centre of expertise. In that sense, the climate for enterprise is excellent here.

It is also excellent in other respects: Flevoland offers plenty of space in which to fulfil your aspirations. The price of real estate is more attractive here. We experience far less traffic congestion and other delays than in other parts of the Netherlands; that saves time and money. Highly qualified staff with a practical outlook are to be found here in abundance.”

When Jelle van Veen finished school in the early eighties, he worked on a fishing trawler for six months. “I quickly realised I would be better off selling fish than catching it. That’s more profitable. I then started selling fish, literally door-to-door, and later, at markets.”

However, Van Veen recognised even more opportunities. In 1987, along with his brother, he set up the Dayseaday fish processing business on the former island of Urk (a fishing village that existed over a thousand years before the province of Flevoland was reclaimed). Dayseaday buys and sells fish in over forty countries worldwide and to that end, has a cold storage facility of 3500 m2 in Urk, which has a capacity of over two thousand pallets. Dayseaday remains a family run business to this day, where five brothers and a sister, along with forty employees, process at least 12,000 tonnes of fish annually. Van Veen attributes their success to continuous innovation. “We always buy in new products ahead of our competitors. And we are entering new markets step by step.”

It is very significant that Flevoland and Urk are centrally located and easily accessible. “Our fish comes in partly via the traditional manner: by ship and via the fish market here, the largest in Western Europe in terms of flatfish. We import exotic fish types such as tuna and swordfish from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka almost daily via Schiphol, less than an hour from here. We are able to transport the outgoing fish, processed into fillet, by daily airfreight to destinations such as the United States, the Middle East, Russia, etc; to top restaurants in particular. To keep weight as low as possible, the fish is packed in dry ice; thus it is not deep frozen.”
Deliveries come in via the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bremen. “Urk is situated nicely in between, which is why it has seen a dramatic increase in other logistics activities in recent years. There is much warehousing and shipping activity here,” asserts Van Veen.

Furthermore, quality expertise in the field of fish (processing) is to be found in Urk. “The entire chain is represented here, from fishermen to the logistics aspects. Nevertheless, just as in the rest of the world, the fleet is getting somewhat smaller and there is less supply of fish. Therefore, we are seeking new ways of optimising economic value. We are fully supported at managerial level. We try to get entrepreneurs together to do business where there is common ground. As such, we undertook orientation visits to Japan and Russia with local government and the Dutch Chamber of Commerce; most informative and useful.”

The North Sea Fish Centre (NSFC), which is being funded by the Dutch government, is currently being developed to better promote European plaice and sole in particular. The NSFC is a broad knowledge centre representing the entire fishing industry chain, as well as the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, local government, and the Flevoland Development Agency (OMFL). The OMFL is very well known to us. As NSFC chairman, you do your utmost in the best interests of Urk.”



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