The Jac. Vandenberg approach is simple and predicated upon two key ingredients: the excellent quality of our products and outstanding service to our customers. As a family business, we truly understand the importance of good customer and shipper relations in order to provide the best possible service to both. We maintain the tightest possible levels of control over our supply chain to ensure that our fruit reaches the hands of our customers in the freshest condition. We understand that each of our customers has different needs and we do our best to fulfill them.
We work with our suppliers using a high level of communication in order to determine programs with optimal levels of volume, sizing, and varieties. The company utilizes a category management system for marketing. Each category manager is responsible for the marketing and pricing strategies for their product within the company. Each category manager is in constant communication with our suppliers and provides ongoing market information by phone and via weekly reports during the season that include current and projected pricing.
Founded in the Netherlands by Jacob Vandenberg (1885 - 1958)
Jacob Vandenberg was raised in the town of Groningen, located in the north of Holland. Not surprisingly, Jacob's father Heiman (1846 - 1922) was, according to historical records, a "trader in fruits." Jacob started a wholesale fruit business in his hometown in 1905, where he bought and sold mainly local Dutch fruits such as apples and pears. Occasionally he would gather all his customers in the street outside his business (where he lived upstairs) and would “auction off” his fruit wares to the highest bidder.
In 1931 the company and Vandenberg family moved to Rotterdam, the then-rising fruit and commercial center of Holland (and later, Europe). After World War II, the Jacob van den Berg Company became a founding member of the “Rotterdam Citrus Exchange,” a fruit auction formed by the eight largest fresh fruit importers of the time. These companies continued to auction fruit twice weekly to several hundred buyers who would come there from Holland, Belgium and northern France, for distribution throughout Northern Europe. Due to the changing times, the fruit auctions in Europe (later also formed in Antwerp, Belgium and Hamburg, Germany) no longer exist. The Rotterdam Citrus Exchange building, however, stands to this day, a historic landmark maintained as a memento to the renowned European fruit distribution system that lasted over half a century.
Jacob van den Berg and his son, Heiman (1914-1990), opened the New York office. The company name was changed to Jac. Vandenberg. The new office was located first on Franklin, and later Hudson Streets in downtown New York City near the Washington Street Market and longstanding New York Fruit Auction. The company became involved in both purchases and sales of product via the Fruit Auction (and many years later will hire its principal auctioneer as a member of the Vandenberg sales team.) During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the company grew by doing business supplying U.S. fruits and vegetables to wholesale and retail customers, as well as the United States Military, and on large-scale exports of apples, citrus and other fresh products to Europe.
Jac. Vandenberg began importing fresh fruit from Chile. In 1958 Heiman Vandenberg met David Del Curto, a Chilean fruit grower. Del Curto was seeking an importer to sell and distribute his grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums and apples in the United States and so began one of the most significant and enduring relationships in the U.S. – Chilean fruit trade. The historic relationship between these two pioneering fruit companies still continues today. Four generations later, Jac. Vandenberg has expanded its importation of fruits to sourcing from 11 countries over 6 continents!
Further expansion of exports of U.S. products such as pears, apples and citrus to more countries around the world - including significant volumes to countries that ranged from Brazil to Japan to Iceland! Yearly increases in import volumes mainly from Chile, as the growing and export business from that country rapidly continues to develop. Australia becomes a significant supply source of fresh pears for distribution throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The Company successfully implements its strategy of revitalizing its customer base from largely traditional wholesale markets to the rapidly-growing U.S. retail and supermarket industry. By the middle of the decade, the vast majority of Vandenberg customers are leading North American retailers. On the import side, Argentina is added as a reliable and important source of fresh pears and apples.
Jac. Vandenberg opens a seasonal office in Nogales, Arizona and from there begins marketing premium table grapes from Mexico.
In the effort to better service its existing customers as well as to further diversify and expand its customer base, Jac. Vandenberg opens a permanent office in Los Angeles to import and distribute produce on the West Coast of the U.S..
Jac. Vandenberg begins marketing premium California table grapes.
To meet changing consumer and retail demand, Jac. Vandenberg begins to focus resources on sourcing increasing quantities of product that is grown organically as well as products certified by independent third parties as having been grown using environmentally-friendly and sustainable methods. Each subsequent season sees growth in both categories as an increasing part of the company's overall import volume.
Jac. Vandenberg becomes a member of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), a program that partners Jac. Vandenberg with the United States Customs and Border Protection to contribute towards a more secure trading environment. As part of the program benefits, Jac. Vandenberg receives reduced examinations and expedited clearance of its cargo.
Jac. Vandenberg begins marketing premium citrus from Uruguay as well as conventional and organic lemons from Mexico.
Jac. Vandenberg continues striving to improve its product line, supplier base, customer base and service in its ongoing mission of exceeding both client and supplier expectations - each and every year!