Fruit Agency La Frutta has been trading for almost 40 years

"Germany: "Coming up with something like Rucola again would be difficult"

The international launch of the Italian salad cultivar Rucola made La Frutta the market leader during the 90's. Since the beginning of 2000, the market has changed fundamentally and so have the activities of La Frutta. Export to other European countries was accelerated and expanded. And despite the steady development and the requirements of the fruit trade, the trading company headquartered in Munich will celebrate its 40-year existence next April.

The experienced retailer proudly talks about the product that brought him and his agency international fame. “With our Rucola fields in Italy and Spain we were the pioneers and really had a monopoly. Nowadays, Rucola is a very well-known product. To ‘invent’ a product like this again would be very difficult.” The success sotry of the persimmon should be mentioned as an example “Five or six years ago persimmons from Spain were almost unknown; since then, the acreage has doubled annually and the prices have dropped considerably.”

Managing director Mario Decke in his office in the Munich Kontorhaus

Trade is all about change
“The market has simply gone in new directions, as has our company,” is the conclusion of the manager. Today, for example, the agency also deals with exports of German vegetables to Italy, such as iceberg lettuce, strawberries and beans. In addition, a few years ago, the company began to expand its offerings with products from overseas.

In this context, the manager sees new opportunities for diversification of the portfolio of La Frutta. “The apple harvest in Germany was terrible with up to 60 or 70 percent losses, for example in the Lake Constance region and other growing areas. To compensate for the scarce supplies, the supply of apples from March onward will become increasingly important. That could certainly become an interesting business.”

Events within the trade are constantly changing, among other things because of the ever changing weather, so the forecasts are often decisive when decision have to be made. Mr. Decke, for example, speaks of the unfavorable weather conditions in recent weeks in the Spanish regions of Murcia and Valencia. “As a result, the prices of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis could rise in the short term, up to 30 or 40 percent. We need to respond to such price swings to gain our clients' trust on a daily basis. Trade is all about change, but personal trust is still the most important thing.”

For more information:
La Frutta Früchtehandels GmbH 
Inh. Mario Decke
Schäftlarnstr. 10
Großmarkt - Altes Kontorhaus Zi. 220
81371 München 
+49 89 771 007

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