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10 July 2019

Students on the e-cargo bike

"Delights from nature sold right from the e-cargo bike"

The South Limburg fruit grower Huids vof was looking for a solution for fruit with a bruise or indentation. For example, misshapen apples can be used to produce apple wine or apple cider. Three students from HAS University of Applied Sciences Venlo/'s-Hertogenbosch researched the market value of the wine and the cider in order to select the best option. With the e-cargo bike of Maastricht Bereikbaar they travelled across the Limburg landscape looking for test cases.

Throwing the apples away is a waste

Eric and Germaine grow apples, pears, and cherries on their beautiful and historic farm on Rijksweg in Vilt. One in ten of these lovingly grown fruits is not 'beautiful' enough for sale; in bad seasons, this can even be one in five. But there's nothing wrong with the taste. Instead of throwing away the fruit or selling it to the processing industry for virtually nothing, Huids went in search of other possibilities. He looked at apple wine Austria and apple cider in Great Britain and France. 

On the road with the e-cargo bike

It is difficult to make a choice without any market research. Graduate students Geena Basten, Sjors Heil, and Janina Panning came into contact with Huids vof through LIOF (Limburg's regional investment fund) and advised Huids to go for apple cider, which is rising in popularity. For eighteen weeks, they worked on a concept, including a test with the target group. At several caravan parks in the Valkenburg region, guests were asked to taste the cider. Sjors, Janina, and Geena felt that a sustainable means of transport would be a good means to support a reduction in food waste. Maastricht Bereikbaar was happy to help them and lent them the e-cargo bike. 

Use the e-cargo bike more often

The cargo bicycle, complete with the keg of apple cider, quickly drew the interest of the guests at the caravan park. Everyone took the time to listen to the story that the students had to tell. After tasting the apple cider, the guests were asked to give their opinion of the product, concept, and label online. The bicycle turned out to be an excellent means of transport for the apple cider. The students even advise Huids to use the bicycle to supply the local restaurants and off licenses. After all, every move counts!