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Europe wants to import more fruit from Colombia

In order to retain Colombian consumers and customers living in Europe, and to increase sales volume and profitability with new products, European Union buyers arefinding and doing business with new Colombian suppliers.

The Eurobanan ARC Group, an industry leader in horticultural distribution in Spain and one of the 148 companies participating in the first Proexport Colombia’s European Business Matchmaking in the European Union, is one of them.

While it already imports from Colombia, it expects to increase its share purchases in Proexport Colombia’s commercial meeting- that began on October 22 in Frankfurt, Germany and ended on October 24 in Paris, where 104 Colombian exporters showed their food, clothing and manufacturing supplies.

According to Ramon Rey Rodriguez, International & Marketing Director of the company, "Colombia is an emerging country in the production of fruits for the fresh market which is offering benefits such as reduced transit times to Europe and quality. We want to expand our offer in products such as avocados, mangoes, papayas and all kinds of tropical fruit."

The group’s size shows its potential as a buyer of Colombian products: Twelve distribution centers throughout the Spanish and Portuguese territory, owner of seven fruit brands and sales of EUR 335 million in 2012.

Another participant is the Cultivar Group, a company that has imported and distributed fruit and vegetables for the past 30 years, with sales of 140 million euro in 2012 in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany , Switzerland , Morocco and Algeria.

"We have noticed that Colombian export firms are prepared. Furthermore, the quality and variety of the fruits is very comprehensive," said Patricia Anton, product manager of the company.

Meanwhile, Edwin Fillekes of Hillfresh International, said his company imports melons and is interested in the Colombian market, because, "it offers competitive delivery times and it is affordable, people are ready and the weather is good."

Another participating buyer, Sebastian Zur Verth, from the German company August Topfer, shared that his company is looking to import “nuts, among other products. Working with Colombia has been a very successful experience and we believe that, thanks to the trade agreement, we have a good opportunity of approaching Colombians."

"We’ve seen the German customer's acceptance, especially that of large buyers, who are always looking for new trends, of that air of freshness that Colombian products bring to the German market, which is saturated with Chinese goods," said Claudia Pantoja, from the German company Von Textilprodukten Importeur .

Source: Proexport

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