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Aisie Sinclair, Ocean South Fresh
South Africa: Shortening the chain in the Russian marketOcean South is an International fresh produce distribution company with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe. The company has a procurement office based in Cape Town, South Africa, a sales office (together with partners) in Barendrecht, The Netherlands, and two companies in St. Petersburg, Russia. One of the Russian companies is focused on importing and selling volume based fresh produce from the St. Petersburg warehouse, while the other company is focusing on value adding by pre-packing products for supermarkets and specializing on more exotic lines of fruit and vegetables.
"Ocean South Fresh has become closer to the production of fruit by joining forces with local South African citrus producers to form their dedicated marketing arm to Russia and Eastern Europe," explains Aisie Sinclair from the company.
"From South Africa we are one of the leading exporters and also importers of fresh produce in the Russian market. Because it is our focus, we understand the market and we are able to sell our products as close to the final customer as possible by working with some of the major supermarket groups, based on local contracts (in Russia) or direct contracts from country of origin," continues Sinclair.
He explains that they have had a good start with the grape season in January, but as expected there are a lot of grapes in the market currently putting pressure on the price.
"It looks like the shortage of pears in Europe is forcing customers in Europe and Russia to start earlier than normal with South African pears. The South African season started with a delay of at least one week as well and is demanding price levels about 20% higher than in 2012. We will have to see if the market can sustain this increase in price, but so far the demand for Southern Hemisphere pears have been strong."
Ocean South traditionally start with the first Golden Delicious apples at the end of February, and are currently planning packing and sales.
According to Sinclair the company are very excited about the 2013 season, "specifically because we are now in a position to take product directly from partner packhouses to the supermarkets, therefore eliminating all middle men and achieving a competitive price to the consumer and a good return to the grower."
For more information:
Ocean South Fresh
Tel +27 21 850 0034 (South Africa)
Tel +31 180 641 181 (The Netherlands)
Mob: +27 83 4633 276
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