The Spanish lemon campaign is developing in an agile and dynamic way, inviting optimism among producers and traders. For Fermín Sánchez, General Director of the exporter Gruventa, based in Lorquí, in the Spanish province of Murcia, "the approximate price of Fino lemons has stayed around 0.75 Euro/kilo and operations for this citrus are going smoothly in the international markets."
The firm Gruventa commercialises its lemons mainly in northern Europe and the Russian market. According to Fermín Sánchez, "Russia demands our lemon due to its quality. To that we must add the interest from northern European consumers, whose demand for our citrus keeps increasing, especially for our lemons."
Fermín Sánchez also explained that "we are internationalising the brand Gruventa all over the world, not only in the European Union and Russia, but also in Asian markets where we are finding our place due to the high quality and food safety of our products."
The firm has finished 2012 with a volume of 20,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, from which 25% corresponds to citrus, and particularly, 10% to lemons.
Murcia's citrus sector is going through difficult times due to the recession. According to Fermín Sánchez, another problem is that "at the moment, the citrus sector needs to face the challenges of concentration and management of supply, which are two fundamental factors for an optimal structuring of the sector."
Additionally, Fermín Sánchez pointed out that "promotion and marketing are also two essential tools in lemon trading, so campaigns should be arranged to promote the good qualities of this citrus in the international markets."
Since Gruventa was created a year ago "it is becoming an international leader in fruit and vegetable distribution to large distribution chains," affirms its president.
In this sense, it is worth noting that the Murcian firm commercialises more than 25 horticultural products in over 33 countries all over the world, distributing them through a dozen worldwide distribution chains. In this sense, Fermín Sánchez states "that at the moment our goal is to position ourselves better in new markets, such as China and Japan, as well as strengthen our presence in markets like India."
The national market is also an important one, which in Fermín's opinion, "has great potential for growth because consumers prefer high quality fruits and vegetables, and our firm is gaining recognition in that sense."
Currently, Gruventa ships 95% of its horticultural volume to the international market and just 5% to the national market. Regarding this, Fermín Sánchez says that "our goal is to reach a 15-20% quota in the national market, as we consider that interest for high quality agri-food products is on the rise."
Gruventa's leader pointed out that "we need to work on unifying supply in the citrus sector, reduce production costs and, especially, generate value added to improve the income of growers, who are the mainstay of the industry."
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Francisco Seva (Press Office)GRUVENTA