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“Spanish citrus sales more difficult than last year”

Gert Bouman, Frutaria:
“Spanish citrus sales more difficult than last year”

Demand for Spanish citrus is currently lagging far behind. That’s what Gert Bouman of Spanish private producer Frutaria says. He points to the recession in Europe as an explanation for the difficult sales – “even worse than last season” – because of which, quite simply, less fruit is sold. “But export to markets outside Europe is also difficult.”


“Of course we see nothing is being sold to Russia. Large volumes weren’t going there anyway, but the produce still has to be sold in other countries. Countries like Poland are also lagging behind this year. The mood is just very lacklustre,” Gert says.  ”We are very busy, but it’s all at very low prices. At the moment, we are fully focusing on retail, because there is little demand on the markets, and you only get low prices. But you’re also seeing promotions on 2 kilos for 99 cents in supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany. You have to wonder whether that’s good for the industry. The consumer thinks this is the price for an orange, undervaluing the product.”


“The production runs in the south of Spain are good. We ended the Clementine season, and stopped with good quality Navelinas. Now we’re getting the Clemenvilla season started, and we’ve begun with the Salustianas,” Gert says. He thinks a further reorganization of the Spanish citrus sector is unavoidable. The past five years, many cooperatives and private companies have disappeared, a trend which will only continue. With prices like that, there’s no future in the sector, and nobody is enthusiastic about investing in citrus productions, quite the contrary.”


For more information:
Gert Bouman
Frutaria
T: (+34) 661 252 509
M: (+34) 661 252 509
[email protected]
www.frutaria.com

Publication date: 12/17/2014


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“Spanish Intense tomato season started well”

Paul Zuiderwijk: conscious later start to connect to Dutch season
“Spanish Intense tomato season started well”

P. Zuijderwijk Import has started the import of Spanish Intense tomatoes for the fourth year in a row. The Nunhems plum tomatoes have a higher density than other tomatoes without losing shape or juice. The importer sells the tomatoes under the brand Roxy. “We consciously started later to connect to the Dutch season. Last year we were four weeks earlier and there were far too many. This helps no one,” concludes Paul Zuijderwijk.


“The season has only just started, but the sales are going well so far. There are still some Dutch tomatoes on the market. In a few weeks the volumes from Spain will increase further,” Paul Zuijderwijk expects. “We have them in the sizes M, MP and MM. The size sorting MM will still be available in limited amounts at the start. There are possibilities to make contracts until the end of April.”


For more information:
P. Zuijderwijk Import
Transportweg 45
2676 LM Maasdijk
Tel: 0031 174-520749
Mob: 0031 6-53372435
[email protected]

Publication date: 11/3/2014


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“Strange Spanish melon season”

Niall Howe, Witkamp:
“Strange Spanish melon season”

The fruit and vegetable trading company Witkamp from Poeldijk receives melons from Spain every day. The company receives Galia, Canteloupe, Piel de Sapo, Honey Dew and watermelons (seedless), as well as watermelons in bulk, among other products. “The last car from Almeria arrived today. Soon the Murcia season will start,” says Niall Howe.


The salesman says it has been a strange season, which started late due to the cold weather conditions. “The cold weather meant that the demand has also been low. I can’t predict how the market will progress over the next few weeks. At the moment the prices are at a lower level than Spain would like. The price of the watermelon is between 35 and 40 cents and for the better sizes of Galias it’s between 5.50 and 6.50 Euro.”

“The quality of the last melons from Almeria is traditionally a little lower, but the prospects for the melons from Murcia are good,” continues Niall. “With daily arrivals we can also provide a fresh product. Due to good contacts with different suppliers in Spain we can always work with good prices. We carry various brands, so that there is something for every customer. We export most of the melons to the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Germany.”


For more information:
Niall Howe
NJ. Witkamp BV.
Tel: 0174 28 29 31
Fax: 0174 28 29 00
[email protected]
www.witkamp.nl

Publication date: 6/26/2013


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“Change to Spanish season a disaster”

Peter Davis – Davis Workdwide
“Change to Spanish season a disaster”

UK company Davis Worldwide started up back in 1999 in Lincolnshire, England and also has an office near the fresh produce hub Barendrecht in The Netherlands. The UK office deals mainly in the fruit and vegetable imports from Spain, France, Italy and Morocco, while the Dutch office handles produce from further afield such as South America, New Zealand, South Africa etc.

Peter Davis, owner of the company said that facilities at the Port of Rotterdam were second to none as far the fresh produce business was concerned, “It is faster for us to get the produce from the ship in Rotterdam then truck it over to England, it is also cost effective. We also have a platform in Perpignan where we can split loads and then reload for specific destinations, by consolidating the loads the trucks have less stops making us very fast on deliveries.”

90% of Davis’s Spanish and French produce is packed on the farms, it can be repacked in Lincolnshire, but as Peter explains they prefer not to do this and keep handling of the produce to an absolute minimum.

Peter said the change over to the Spanish vegetable season has been a bit of a disaster this year, mainly due to the weather, “So much rain fell in Almeria last week and more is forecast, which affects both quality and availability, but Morocco will start in two weeks time which should give a bit of stability to the market. In particular, cucumber has been very expensive, you need to have very deep pockets to fill the contracts at the moment.”

One saving grace, according to Peter has been the melon market Spain has just finished and now the Brazilian melons are on the market and getting a good price.

He goes on to say that the European apple season is going to be very challenging due to the huge amounts of fruit on the market, this of course is compounded by the ban on European exports to Russia.

“The supermarket price wars are not helping the situation either, the discounters Aldi and Lidl never had as much impact on the UK market as they did in Germany but that has now changed as they are selling more well known brands and turnover has increased, supermarkets in general are using low cost fresh produce to get customers through the doors, although they will promote the English apple, some still have south African apples on the shelves because they’re much cheaper than new season European ones,” comments Davis.

He also reckons that much more Moroccan produce will go directly to Russia, thus side stepping the European importers, “The Moroccans will just send to Russia directly, last year our grower sent 10 tonnes of Moroccan salad products to Russia this year he has already sent 40. Spain is also loosing out to Morocco as they improve growing techniques and quality, Spain will also suffer from the very wet weather especially in products such as courgettes. It has been warm and wet, producing very humid conditions which leads to problems with mildew which will mean big problems for the growers.”

For more information:
Peter Davis
Davis Worldwide
Tel: 0044 1507 600969
Email: [email protected]
www.davisworldwide.co.uk

Publication date: 10/17/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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UK market pushes Spanish onions away

“Challenge to increase efficiency and adapt to market’s needs”
UK market pushes Spanish onions away

How can a small firm find a place within such a competitive market? According to Fermín Utrilla, of Allium Integral, the key is in differentiation and the search for niche markets.

“I tried to differentiate myself by looking for markets where the big companies did not arrive; that is how I developed red onion microbulbs to cover niche markets in the UK and extra early grano type microbulbs in Spain, which allow you to enter the market one month in advance. The key is to use the varieties and growing techniques, adapting to situations and specific market demands. Small firms like ours have a better capacity to adapt to changing markets, as big companies are generally occupied handling larger volumes.”

Fermín Utrilla is an agronomist with plenty of experience as a consultant at horticultural companies in the processes of production, processing, packing, preservation and implantation of quality management systems. Such businesses fell as a result of the recession, which led him to found Allium Integral 4 years ago; a firm devoted to the production, processing and selling of onions from Albacete, Spain’s largest production area.

Allium Integral produces red and Grano type yellow onions, with its own varieties created through hybridisation and later breeding of microbulbs.

“Our techniques for the creation and development of varieties through microbulbs are so interesting for onion producers that we felt compelled to open our own onion seed company as an associated firm to Allium Integral.”


The result of such work includes the red variety Red Emperor, which usually enters the market in August. “Our production from microbulbs can be harvested now, in late June. This way we can fill the gap that there was in the British market between the end of New Zealand’s red onion season and the start of the European campaign,” explains Fermín Utrilla.

“This, however, was only interesting until they allowed Egypt to enter Europe with rock bottom prices, and from there onwards the niche was no more,” he explains. “European supermarkets have double standards in the purchase of their products, demanding all sorts of quality and good agricultural practice certificates to EU producers, but nothing at all to third countries like Morocco, Turkey or Egypt, which offer prices against which nobody can compete.”


As for Grano type onions, European trends, according to Fermín, are increasingly more price-oriented. “Demand is so fragile that, even in a context of low supply, prices rise up to a certain point, and from there onwards they do not slow down gradually, as they used to, but they plunge.”

“The one factor that European producers can take advantage of is the decadent situation of Southern Hemisphere onion imports. The off-season supply from countries like New Zealand, Argentina and Chile keeps falling as a result of the high logistic costs. This is not felt as much in products with more value added, but the price differences are still noteworthy. For this reason, a country like Argentina exports most of its production to Brazil.”


The main market for Allium Integral is still the UK, where the program “Local for Local” has pushed Spanish onions away from supermarkets. “Spanish onions have always held a good position and superior prices in the Premium segment, for their mild flavour and characteristics that make them suitable for fresh consumption, unlike British onions, whose quality is much inferior.”

This, however, has been changing in recent years and supermarkets are replacing Spanish onions with the British counterpart, selling them at the same price as the former, which could be considered consumer fraud.”

For this reason, Fermín is finding more interesting markets to be able to adapt. “We have started in Algeria, which we find quite interesting, as they do not demand such high quality standards as the UK, allowing us to offer lower prices. Brazil is another interesting market for smaller calibres.”

“I believe the only way to survive nowadays is to adapt to the new market demands, which require us to reduce costs in order to reduce prices. For this it is necessary to be greatly efficient in all processes to obtain a quality that equals the cost,” concludes Fermín Utrilla.


For more information about Allium Integral:
Fermín Utrilla
T: +34 967245160
M: +34 670333363
[email protected]

Publication date: 6/25/2013


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France to strengthen controls on Spanish horticultural exports

France to strengthen controls on Spanish horticultural exports

After the French Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, announced he would “intervene” after meeting with representatives of the major agricultural unions and fruit and vegetable organisations, a statement from his department has pointed out that “controls will be strengthened” on both trucks and markets, in particular to make sure they carry order forms with the agreed price. So far the Minister has announced that in the last two weeks 150 trucks have been controlled and 10 violations have been detected which “shall be punished.” 

This strengthening in the controls of imported fruits and vegetables arrives in response to protests from producers about the arrival of goods at lower prices, particularly from Spain. 

Le Foll, who met at the ministry with the main agricultural unions and fruit and vegetable organisations, stated that the price gap “is not justified” and affirmed that he will intervene.

Le Foll reminded that on 21 July the authorities launched a campaign on French television to promote the consumption of local fruits and vegetables. He also brought attention to a “common action between Spain, Italy, Greece and France asking the European Commission to consider measures for the withdrawal of a production that now comes to disturb the overall balance of the market.” 

The main French sectorial organisations (FNSEA, JA, FNPF) have complained that they have to deal with “unusually high import volumes of fruits and vegetables at prices that harm the French market” and lead to unfair competition. 

According to his argument, “French products are subject to much stricter social and environmental rules than those of its neighbours.”

Source: Hortoinfo

Publication date: 8/15/2014


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New attack against Spanish truck in Perpignan

New attack against Spanish truck in Perpignan

The Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Catalonia (FCAC) has announced its plans to issue a formal complaint to the French government following the attacks on trucks loaded with fruit that occurred a few days ago, and which have been repeated yesterday morning against a truck of the company Agromarket, from Torrefarrera. The complaint will be announced at the meeting of the Hispano-French-Italian Committee, which will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as of the sector.

Ramón Sarroca, president of the FCAC, will take part in the videoconference to be held by the three major stonefruit producing countries. This is a “violation of the right of free movement of goods within the European Union,” he notes. He also explains that “we want to express our support to the cooperatives and growers affected by these incidents, since it is not true that the trucks did not carry the necessary documents, as representatives of the French government have argued.”

Source: La Mañana diari de ponent

Publication date: 7/18/2014


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“Top production for Spanish stonefruit”

Erik-Jan Thur (Marni Fruit):
“Top production for Spanish stonefruit”

Good volumes of Spanish stonefruit are expected on the market. “Nothing has gone wrong in the production, such as frost. The production is good everywhere. There should be sufficient volumes coming this way. The expectation is that as we come into the summer season, we may come into a difficult position regarding sales,” says Erik-Jan Thur from Marni Fruit.


The trading company received the first peaches and nectarines from the southern regions like Murcia and Seville a few weeks ago. The switch to production areas like Lerida and Zaragoza will be made in mid June. “Everything is one or two weeks early. Egypt is also offering peaches, so there is enough on the market,” says Erik-Jan. “The quality of the stone fruit is good on arrival but due to the higher temperatures in Spain it has been ripening quickly. So it is essential not too wait too long to sell.”


“The prices are at a good level at the moment. The question is what affect the developments in Russia and the Ukraine will have on the market. The volume exported to those markets will have to find its way on the market and we will notice it here whether we want to or not,” continues the trader. “But the demand for summer fruit is good at the moment. The consumers are pretty much done with oranges and mandarins and want new products.”


According to the importer the stonefruit area has remained reasonably stable, although the area of paraguayos, platerina and apricots has grown again in the last year. “We have already received some Burlat cherries from the greenhouse, but they did not meet our colour and shelf life demands. We have received our first outside grown cherries this week and they are fine. We have started with the first Mauricia variety apricots and have also received the variety Mogador, which is more of a French variety with an orange look and red blush.”


The prices are at a reasonably good level. The supply of peaches is, however, increasing and the prices are under slight pressures. Prices are around 6/7 Euro for those packaged in 10×500 grammes and 14/15 Euro for 10x1kg. The price for loose peaches in a 3.5 kg packaging, depending on size, is between 8/9 Euro,” says Erik-Jan. “The price of apricots is also decreasing slightly, but retains a price level of 13-15 Euro for 5kg loose and prices of around 17/18 Euro for those packaged 10x1kg. These are the prices for good sizes, the smaller sizes are a few Euro lower on the market.”


For more information:
Erik-Jan Thur
Marni Fruit BV            
Gebroken Meeldijk 52        
2991 VD Barendrecht        
Tel: +31 (0)180 697 996        
Fax: +31 (0)180 697 990
[email protected]
www.marnifruit.nl

Publication date: 5/7/2014


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French strawberry producers worried for Spanish producers

French strawberry producers worried for Spanish producers

Strawberry production in Brittany is at its peak period at the moment. Strawberries farmed in heated greenhouses are reaching the end of their production, whilst unheated greenhouse strawberries are in full bloom. Strawberry producer, André Hascoet, says that the first few weeks of the season were ”not very dynamic in terms of prices” which are ”slightly lower than usual”. 

As for competition from less expensive Spanish strawberries, Mr Hascoet says that ”It is always a worry because they are present in terms of volume and tend to pull down prices”.  However he continues, ”What worries me is what the Spanish producer is earning. There are packaging and transportation costs, what is the Spanish producer making if they’re sold at €1.50? He has given away his strawberries”.  At such low prices, it is unclear how Spanish producers earn money and Mr Hascoet suggests that maybe they are sending overflow stock to France?

They are also not the same variety of strawberry, gariguettes are full of flavour whilst Spanish strawberries are ”big, round, but do not have much taste”. However he believes that there is room for both products on the market.

Spanish strawberries prices are low because ”The consumer knows that they are not worth 10€/kilo” and would not want to pay more. There are some consumers who will never buy Spanish strawberries because the flavour and quality does not suit them. However, it enables households on small budgets to consume strawberries at a lower price.”

For more information:
Prince de Bretagne
Email: [email protected]
www.princedebretagne.com
 

Publication date: 4/24/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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French strawberry producers worried for Spanish producers

French strawberry producers worried for Spanish producers

Strawberry production in Brittany is at its peak period at the moment. Strawberries farmed in heated greenhouses are reaching the end of their production, whilst unheated greenhouse strawberries are in full bloom. Strawberry producer, André Hascoet, says that the first few weeks of the season were ”not very dynamic in terms of prices” which are ”slightly lower than usual”. 

As for competition from less expensive Spanish strawberries, Mr Hascoet says that ”It is always a worry because they are present in terms of volume and tend to pull down prices”.  However he continues, ”What worries me is what the Spanish producer is earning. There are packaging and transportation costs, what is the Spanish producer making if they’re sold at €1.50? He has given away his strawberries”.  At such low prices, it is unclear how Spanish producers earn money and Mr Hascoet suggests that maybe they are sending overflow stock to France?

They are also not the same variety of strawberry, gariguettes are full of flavour whilst Spanish strawberries are ”big, round, but do not have much taste”. However he believes that there is room for both products on the market.

Spanish strawberries prices are low because ”The consumer knows that they are not worth 10€/kilo” and would not want to pay more. There are some consumers who will never buy Spanish strawberries because the flavour and quality does not suit them. However, it enables households on small budgets to consume strawberries at a lower price.”

For more information:
Prince de Bretagne
Email: [email protected]
www.princedebretagne.com
 

Publication date: 4/24/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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