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Carlo Porro, CEO of Agricola Famosa:

“Doubling our capacity with ships carrying up to 6,000 pallets of watermelons from Brazil next season”

The world's largest melon producer and exporter from Brazil, Agricola Famosa, is responding to a "strong increase" in demand for watermelons in Europe by doubling their own charter ships capacity from next season. Carlo Porro, CEO of Agricola Famosa, "What I see is a strong increase in demand for our watermelons, including the mini's in Europe. We are bringing in a much bigger boat. We're doubling the capacity from 2,500 pallets, after concluding an agreement with Cool Carriers, their ships will carry between 5,000 to 6,000 pallets."

Carlo Porro, CEO of Agricola Famosa in Brazil.

The company is now effectively a year round supplier of melons. The recent rain in Brazil has lowered volumes, but harvesting and exporting has continued, says Porro. "The climate is stable, there is now very little rain in Brazil after the heavy rain in recent months. In Brazil, we keep on loading, but we are sending much lower volumes to Europe now. Throughout the current Spanish season we mainly send to processors. They prefer the Brazilian fruit that is more stable in terms of pressure, they buy part of their needs from us."

North America volumes to double
North America is another key market for Agricola Famosa. "We went well last season to North America. We're already planning next season with double the volumes exported at around 400 containers to the US. We have a problem with logistics, with freight rates that have increased," states Porro.

Increasing European demand
He says they are already planning the next season from Brazil. "Brazil will have more or less the same volume and planted area compared to last year. At Agricola Famosa we plan to expand our planted area, because we're gaining market share in some retailers. We are going to the markets with better quality. Some buyers still want Brazilian fruit, this includes yellow Melon, the Dino variety, which are very well accepted, and including the mini-watermelons that's convenient and very good quality that the clients recognise. We aim to start loading for the new season in either week 33 or 34. The double capacity ships will offload in Spain as well as Rotterdam and Dover."

He says there's always a positive side to any season, despite the huge amount of rain. "The rain washed the soil clean. It refilled the wells, the natural vegetation is better. We therefore expect a very good quality season from Brazil in terms of productivity and quality," concludes Porro.

For more information:
Carlo Porro
Agricola Famosa
Tel: +55 85 991999392
Email: [email protected]