Koerner Agro is dedicated to the export market. The brand of Koerner Agro is used to export to countries all over the world. “Europe is our biggest market, but we use the same packaging for regions like Australia, Russia and Japan as well. Within Europe, our main markets are the Netherlands and Germany, but we also supply exotic produce to France, Spain, Ireland and the UK, so far."
The main competition for Thai dragon fruit is Vietnam, while for mangoes it is India and South America. “Thai mangoes need to be flown in by air transport, which is more expensive than the rate from South America. Moreover South American mangoes can be exported by sea freight, ” explains Nicola Winter.
European consumers can see a clear distinction between Thai mangoes and mangoes from other producing countries, as they differ in taste, color, structure and sizes. The taste of a ripely harvested Thai Mango “Nam Dok Mei” is exceptional. The difference between Vietnamese dragon fruit and Thai dragon fruit on the other hand is basically non-existent.
However, Winter isn’t concerned about the competition. Koerner Agro has business relationships with customers that have been buying produce ever since the company was founded. “About 18 years ago, my husband and I used to live in Thailand. During that period, we set up Koerner Agro. At some point we moved back to Germany. Veera Likanasudh became the director and partner of Koerner Agro in Thailand and we set up a sales office in Germany.
The competition for Koerner Agro in Thailand is limited. Ever since the EU adopted more strict regulations for imported produce, Thai companies needed to be certified and meet the high European standards. “Out of all the competition throughout the years, there are currently only very few big players left in Thailand, who could meet and keep up with the ever changing high quality standards set by EU authorities.”
While being dependent on partnerships could stifle any prospects for expansion, Nicola claims this is not the case. They actually need to keep up with their partners, which isn’t easy in Thailand, where they work a lot with their own farms and strictly controlled contract farming. But as their partners are growing, it does give themselves an incentive to push. “Our business relations have always worked out well. We’ve hardly had any claims. The most important factor is communication and never cutting corners. You have to keep in touch with your clients and their needs, constantly changing demands and the balance between supply and demand."
A good example of partnerships in Thailand is the cooperation with our oldest customers, Nature’s Pride in Netherlands and MHS in Germany. “Nature’s Pride is doing a lot for promoting Thai Exotics and Produce. They apply packaging with descriptions that show you how to prepare the produce and have many other great ideas to make our produce more attractive and exciting for a growing final number of consumers and food lovers.
For more information:
Koerner Agro Export Center Company Limited