More Greek strawberries for Qatar market

The marketing company Greek And Fresh has been working on its presence in the Gulf region. The company is exporting strawberries, pomegranates and oranges to markets like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai and is looking into new products like tomatoes.
“Our strawberry campaign was very successful,” says Nick Nafpliotis. “For the 3rd year in a row, we increased our volumes to the Gulf region and Asia and we’re looking for ways for further development especially in Asia. We’d like to strengthen our customer base and improve our sales in developing areas where we’re not yet as active as we can be.”

The company is working with the Greek grower Labidino, a pioneer company, with whom marketing for the Gulf markets was established since the very beginning.

A fast developing market for Green And Fresh is Qatar, even though this particular country has had to deal with diplomatic issues with its neighboring countries. “Qatar has one of the highest populations of the Gulf region. There are about 3,000 Greek expats working in construction, as Greek engineers are renowned for their expertise. They are mainly working on construction projects for the 2022 World Cup.”
Greek And Fresh is trying to introduce new markets on the Qatar market. According to Nafpliotis, the bans that are being enforced due to the diplomatic issues restricts import through the land, sea and air borders from the neighboring countries of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. “This means that any direct import is impossible, as all trade routes to Qatar from Jordan are being blocked. However we can still reach Qatar through airfreight, directly from Athens.”

The company would like to introduce Greek tomatoes, watermelons and peaches and nectarines. According to Nafpliotis, it’s going to be the first time to export tomatoes to the Gulf markets. “Our tomatoes are a new type of produce, which are being grown by a partner grower. This grower has a Dutch type of glasshouse, which allows for a production of 10 months per year. As for Qatar, the only way to put these tomatoes along with our watermelons on the market is by air.”
The main challenge for exporting to the Gulf region is trying to hook up with the right partners. “You need import companies who are trustworthy. We work with one import company per country and these companies have direct channels to all major retailers.”

A major concern for Nafpliotis is the low prices in Europe for tomatoes. “Dutch & Belgian tomatoes went for €0.40 to €0.60 per kg in the last 4 weeks, but now the prices are picking up to 0.70-0.80. We’re willing to drop our prices as well. Though we make use of expensive air freight rates, we’re willing to get a competitive edge in order to see how things do. Due to the population of Qatar and our local partner, there are still very interesting possibilities in the market. ”
In the coming year, Greek And Fresh is going to focus more on Asia. “We’re going to expand in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. We’re already in touch with some local supermarket chains. Our partner grower Labidino is continually investing in technology for pre-cooling, sorting and different types of packaging, as well as experimenting with new varieties in order to adapt to the various market needs. The Greek season lasts from November to June, with the peak season from mid-March to mid-June. During this peak, the production of competing countries like Egypt and Morocco is finishing.”

For more information:

Nick Nafpliotis
Greek and Fresh
Tel: +30 215 2158063
F: +30 210 2713683
Mob: +30 6932 454646
Skype: nick.nafpliotis

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