BFruit, Portugal

"We are trying to programme the berry production into different seasons"

“The berry consumption in Portugal in general is still a low level. However, because of the increasing berry production, we expect that consumption will increase. Blueberries have been and are still significantly growing in Portugal. In addition, from marketing studies conducted we know that consumption of this fruit is growing worldwide, states Filipa Bragança from Bfruit Portugal. 

“At this moment we know that production seasons are the same for some countries and continents. This results in excessive peaks of production, which are superior than consumption. Bfruit is trying to find a solution for its members, which means trying to program the production for a different season than when the bigger volumes are in the market. In addition, we grow exclusive varieties of some of/for some specific clients, we are continuously trying to achieve high quality standards that are demanded in the market and we work on the establishment of commercial agreements with clients in order to guarantee the commercialization.”

According to Filipa the main difference in the production of small fruits in Portugal and Spain is the climate. “It is proved that in Portugal, fruits have an "Atlantic Breeze Taste" and it is precisely the Atlantic breeze that differentiates us. The temperatures of the Atlantic front make the climate more pleasant, allowing a longer time between the appearance of the flower and the fruit, this makes our fruits have a more intense flavor.”

“Another difference between these countries is that Portugal has been increasingly focused on concentrating supply. Also producers decided to grow and gain market solidity by associating themselves to producers’ organizations. With the growth of producer organizations, companies have modernized and become much more professional and competitive.”

The company Bfruit is a fruit and vegetable grower's organization that divides itself into two key aspects, namely the technical department and the commercial department. “Our technical department supports the growers from plantation to crop. The commercial department takes care of the entire commercialization of the fruit of our members, while having an international strategy to enter the markets.” 

Bfruit represents producers of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and kiwi with a total of 250ha in Portugal. “In the year 2016, we reached a sales turnover of around 1000 tons of fruit, and in 2017 it surpassed the 1500tons. The national market represents only 5% of Bfruit´s total sales. Most of the sales is to foreign countries, with customers in for example France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, England, Brazil and Dubai.”

The biggest production is of raspberries, which count for 63% of the total production and commercialization. “The blueberry production counts for 19%, strawberry production 12%, red currants cover 4,5% and blackberry just 1,5% of the total production. Raspberry isn't just the most produced fruit within Bfruit, but it can also be produced year round. This allows us to ensure year round programs with a stronger negotiation with the client.”

Bfruit attends the Fruit Logistica and Fruit Attraction every year. “During these exhibitions we obtain excellent results, in terms of consolidating existing clients, new clients and new markets. We meet with the biggest wholesalers in the world, with the result of contracts for fruit sales with the largest supermarkets in Germany and England for example.”

The goal of Bfruit is to increase the number of specific trade missions, as well as increase the participation in one or two fairs that are strategic for the development of new customers and markets. “Direct customer visits have also proved to be increasingly essential and an effective way of perceiving the needs of the markets. It helps to strengthen the relationship between us and the clients.”

She concludes: “Our expectations for 2018 is to organize that growers have production available at specific times of the year, with high quality standards when price levels are usually higher. The company invests a lot in technical support individualized for each grower.”

You can visit Bfruit at the Fruit Logistica in Hall 5.2, at booth C-12.

For more information:
Filipa Bragança

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