In the Netherlands a lot of onions are cultivated, about 2 % of the arable land in the Netherlands is used for the cultivation of onions. About 40% of the cultivation of onions is in Flevoland, where Molnopex is situated. Also the province Zeeland, Friesland, Noord-Holland and are also important cultivation areas. This means that in the Netherlands about 20.000 hectares of common onions are cultivated, which produces about 1.1 million tons of onions. About 90% of the total production of onions in the Netherlands is exported all over the world.
There are several types of onion cultivation; seed onion, picklers, first year onion sets, second year onion sets and silverskin onions. Common onions are sown from March to May en harvested in July and August. The common onions are ripe when the leafage is down, and when the neck of the onion can be pressed between two fingers the onions can be harvested. After harvesting the onions have to dry for about 2 days on top of the soil, then the onions are picked up and stored.
Onions and quality; To ensure the quality, the onions need to be dried as quick as possible after the harvest. When the onions are dry they need to be cooled down to low temperatures, this puts the onions in a “sleep”. To get the onions ready for export, the leafage is taken off and the onions are sorted on size by a sieve and the first selection of quality takes place. Then the onions are packed, but not before the onions are checked for quality a second time. The packaging can differ from small packaging for supermarkets to jumbo bags.
With every process de quality of the onions is watched carefully. The quality is mainly determined by the characteristics; colour, skin sturdiness, firmness and flawlessness. The whole process is done at Molnopex en with modern, product friendly machines to ensure the onions are damaged as little as possible.