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Swiss retailer very enthusiastic about variety with intense taste

“Starting this year; Calinda strawberries in large quantities”

The berry season is very changeable this year, especially in the Spanish cultivation areas. Last week, both producers and importers had significant rainfall in major growing regions in southern Spain. Although the weather currently still fluctuates, the market has largely recovered, says sales manager Romeo Giovanelli of the fruit import AG in Frauenfeld (Switzerland). “The current temperature in our Spanish Huelva production area varies between 15 and 20 degrees, with some rain now and then. Fortunately, we have been spared major quality problems so far.”

The current prices have also stabilized and are currently around 2.20-2.40 kilos. A fairly normal producer’s price just before the end of the season, confirms Mr Giovanelli. “The supply of Spanish products continues to run for some weeks before we switch to Italian goods. The strawberries from Italian fields are on average about 10 percent more expensive than the Spanish products. This has to do with the size of the fields: on the one hand, they are relatively large in Spain, while in Italy, for the most part, there are small producers with a few hectares. Because of the shorter transport routes we prefer the goods from Italy.”

Managing Director Romeo Giovanelli has been marketing Calinda strawberries since last year

This year, there will be an important shift in strawberries. After the successful launch of the new Calinda variety, Giovanelli decided to mainly import the Spanish product in large quantities. "In 2017, we brought the Calinda on the market in limited test quantities and we have received almost exclusively positive feedback. This variety is slightly more expensive to grow than the usual varieties, since the yield per hectare is relatively low. On the other hand, the Calinda is very tasty and therefore particularly in demand.”

In the berry area, Mr Giovanelli is currently observing some noteworthy trends within the Swiss retail sector. Firstly, it’s almost invariably the 250 and 500 gram trays that have remained in focus. “At the beginning of the season, we also offer 250 gram bowls in the strawberry section. But now we are into full production and there is major demand for the 500 gram trays." Secondly, the Swiss consumer also attaches great importance to regionality and organic quality. Giovanelli: "Organic products are being pushed a lot, especially in the last few years, even with imported goods. At the moment we have a steady share of about 20 percent in the total berry retail and we are seeing a steady growth.”

Fourth generation
Giovanelli Fruchtimport AG is a traditional wholesaler and is now run by the fourth generation of the founding family. The company supplies both major Swiss distributors and retailers at the wholesale market in Zurich. Among other things, the firm is known for its diverse range of exotic fruits and vegetables. In addition to this, the company also has a nut roasting plant (sister company Gerelli AG) at the same location, in Frauenfeld.

The headquarters of Giovanelli Fruchtimport AG in Frauenfeld

For more information:
Giovanelli Fruchtimport AG
Schaffhauserstrasse 200
CH-8500 Frauenfeld
Telefon +41 52 728 09 09
Telefax +41 52 728 09 00

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