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Anton Rutten, Aphrodite Fruit:

“Growth in Greek tourism important for fresh produce sales”

After a long career in the fresh produce trade, Anton Rutten (64) started to work for Aphrodite Fruit BV, part of the Souras Fresh Group, in the autumn of 2015. The name refers to the Greek goddess of love and Anton therefore completely focuses on daily operations searching and supplying the Greek branches of the Group and some key partners in other eastern countries. “I've been infected with the fresh produce virus!”

The owner, Panos Souras, from Greece, who is in his thirties, was looking for reinforcement from the Netherlands. Through the grapevine, he found out about Anton, who’s nearly twice his age. “That necessity became apparent when the financial crisis in Greece resulted in all monetary transactions being halted. I helped Panos with a supplier about eight years ago, so we figured things out quickly,” the Dutch trader explains. “And also because the large ships from overseas often don’t go to the Mediterranean but directly to Rotterdam, a purchasing agency in the Netherlands was a solution for his Group of companies, located mainly in Greek territory.”

From Transportweg 61 in Maasdijk, Anton focuses primarily on purchasing exotics and imported fruits. “I do a lot with limes, avocados, mangoes and pineapple, complemented with Dutch greenhouse vegetables, garlic and ginger, both via seaborne and airborne cargo. We do direct business with the source, customers prefer that. From here, we bundle the flows and do the quality inspections, so that the Greek branches are relieved from that task. Our suppliers have a sophisticated traceability system, and can see exactly which product is shipped from which place.”

The activities of the Souras Fresh Group in Greece have a focus on supermarket chains, wholesalers, catering and Cruise ships in Athens. “People in Greece are very positive about the developments in tourism. It’s very important for the fresh produce sales. In the Netherlands, it has become obvious that supply contracts have been taken from trade more and more. Purchasing managers of supermarkets therefore switch categories every few years, but in Greece, this is all a bit friendlier. The seasonal peak is in summer, when we send many limes.”
Anton enjoys his work very much. “You know that the culture in Southern Europe is completely different from ours. People work later into the evenings, and you don’t always get a direct answer to your question, but that’s just something to anticipate. People in Greece are very satisfied, and I’m enjoying myself very much, what more could I ask for? I hope to be able to do this for a few more years!”
For more information:
Anton Rutten
Aphrodite Fruit
Tel: +31 (0)174 700 262

Publication date: 4/21/2017
Author: Izak Heijboer
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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