Exotic fruit and vegetables such as pomegranates, sweet potatoes and lemons are much more present in German supermarkets. However, imports from the country of origin are rarely successful due to their poor quality. The German-Egyptian importer Mahmoud Bayoumy considers the quality of his products as a priority. "We only sell good products."
When taking a look at the Egyptian products of Firma Germany Handel and Service UG & CO, it is obvious that there is a large range of products, from dark red pomegrates, large sweet potatoes and shiny oranges and lemons. Owner Mahmoud Bayoumy clearly uses a very strict quality check to assure that there will not be any fruits that do not meet his standards. "We sort all fruits by hand and pick only the fruits of full colour."
Owner Mahmoud Bayoumy (top left) and his products
From his location in Frankfurt am Main, Bayoumy oversees his large imperium in Egypt. "There, we have plantations, water storages and a packing factory," according to the proud owner. "I have around 120 employees on site that sort, wash, check and pack every crop. In Germany, I also have seven employees who deal with the marketing and quality checks. Every now and then, one of us flies over to test the quality in person."
From every shipment, one sample is tested in the lab. "This is the only way to get evidence of the quality," explains Bayoumy. Only the best materials are used for the packaging as well. "We package everything in biodegradable boxes and also use special bags in which the fruits are preservable for 2 to 3 months. If necessary, we also develop customised packages and labels."
Sweet potatoes are part of the assortment
Since it was founded in 2013, the import company has continuously broadened its clientele and has been supplying many wholesale markets and several discounters, also in the Netherlands and Great Britain. "We know exactly how the large European chains think," says Bayoumy. "We are very assured, have additional quality certificates and import products that make much profit. It is evident that we don't sell rubbish." His competitors are not too worried by these statements. "Many import from Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, but these products are often of poorer quality. They simply don't make enough effort."
When the products are of good quality, the citrus fruits and exotic fruits are a very profitable market. "The crops are great at the moment," says Bayoumy enthusiastically. "We count on at least two shipments every week: one to Rotterdam and one to Hamburg. Depending on the current storage, in between shipments take place as well.