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"Gabriel Berard: "Trade safely with us"

Bretonskiy Koupets, a local help desk for exporters to Russia

The business Bretonskiy Koupets was founded by the Frenchman Gabriel Berard, who lives in Moscow since 2004. He handles sales and deliveries in Russia on behalf of international exporters of fruit and vegetables. "You see, many exporters are still afraid of shipping to Russia, due to many risks", explains Gabriel. "We help them to develop safer trades."

Gabriel has been on the Russian market for a while. "I moved to Russia 10 years ago as an executive for a container shipping line. I've seen a lot, especially the difficulties in the reefer imports of fresh produce. That's why I had the idea to create a help desk for shippers."

Working upon recommendations
"The agency developed thanks to the recommendations of its users. My first assignment was supplying two truckloads of cauliflower to the retailer X5 Retail Group in Moscow for "Prince de Bretagne". Today we handle sales, deliveries, surveys upon arrival on behalf of several shippers worldwide and we are physically present in St Petersburg and Moscow."



Harder times for Russian importers

"The Russian market is now going through a difficult time after years of tremendous expansion. The fruit and vegetable consumption doesn't grow anymore. Concentration in the Russian retail sector squeezes profit margins. And importation costs are rising. Many Russian importers find it difficult to stay afloat. Some of them try to transfer losses onto their suppliers."

Unfair claims upon arrival
What a lot of fruit and vegetable companies run into, in the trade with Russia, is claims upon arrival. "There are often unfair claims. Our job consists of getting these problems under control, and so we follow up deliveries and we immediately take a look on site to make sure it's right. We are present at the buyer's warehouse when the products arrive and we defend the interests of 'our' suppliers."

Retail

With his experience in the Russian market, Gabriel knows what the Russians want. "Nowadays there are roughly two marketing segments in Russia: the discount market, where cheap products are bought in big volumes at discount prices ; and a niche market for quality products and premium brands." He also sees the Russian retail sector changing rapidly. "Retailers in Russia didn't import anything directly 10 years ago, and now they handle, by themselves, almost 25% of the volumes of fresh fruits & vegetables moving into the country. Big wholesale marketplaces still exist in the major cities, but they may be different in a few years."

Future
When it comes to the future Gabriel sees a growing interest in trading with Russia. "For European exporters, it's important to have a good connection to Russia. Historically, Russian consumers love Europe, and that won't change. In spite of politics, ties between Europe and Russia are getting closer every year in the fresh food business. We contribute to this process at our level."

For more information:
Gabriel Berard
SAS Bretonskiy Koupets
Parc d'Innovation Bretagne Sud
Place Albert Einstein - CP 125
56038 Vannes - Frankrijk
Skype ID: gabrielberard
gabrielberard@gmail.com

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