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"but it's hard to actually sell them"
"It's easy to talk about the possibilities for bananas outside Spain"
Many companies and organizations of Canary banana producers have tried to promote the consumption of Spanish bananas outside of Spain, but so far, without much success.
Europlátano, which is increasing its production every year, expects its total volume to exceed 60 million kilos in 2018. It is possibly one of the companies that is betting the most on the introduction of Canary bananas in the European markets. Last year, exports did not even account for 2% of the total volume, and in 2018, they expect these to grow by more 50% and therefore exceed 3% of the total production. Exports currently go to Switzerland and France.
Antonio J. Luis Brito, Managing Director of Europlátano, believes that in order to be successful in exporting, "the strategy must be to propose long-term investment projects; that is, to focus on the future. It is all about designing products that meet specific customer demands."
"It is very easy to talk about the possibilities that a product like ours has in the international markets, but it is really difficult to actually sell it. In our case, both in Switzerland and in France, we only established ourselves after months of talks, tests and visits of our foreign allies. It is really important that they become familiar both with the product's characteristics and with the whole productive process, which is environmentally-friendly and ensures good conditions for our producers and workers. This justifies some of our certifications, such as Global GAP, or the one certifying the reduction of our CO2 footprint, which is very important when it comes to reaching agreements with European retailers," he explains.
The Canary company has been present in the Swiss market for over a year and the volumes of organic bananas demanded by France have already stabilised after months of testing. "This shows an important, but also continuous growth. Switzerland receives our Canary Gold brand, which is used for bananas with a given calibre and length and an excellent flavour. In France, we distribute our fruit through the chain Biocoop, a French leader in organic retail. That's why all the fruit shipped to them is grown organically," says the manager.
According to Antonio J. Luis Brito, "the demand for organic products is on the rise; there is no doubt about it, but it is not a product that competes against regular bananas from other origins. Obviously, it is impossible to compete with those in terms of price. What counts is the taste and the working conditions of everyone involved in the chain. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the origin of the products they consume and we benefit from that."
In Spain, although the pace is not as high as in other European countries, there is still double-digit growth each year, according to Antonio J. "That is why we have to adapt gradually. We are seeing more and more bio products sold at supermarkets, and in several of them, our fruit is already part of the range, under brands such as Gabaceras Bio or Europlátano Bio. So, a part of our organic production goes to the domestic market and there is another part that goes to France, via Biocoop."
For more information:
Elisa Martínez Duque
T: +34 616797219
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