The launch of the Sakura cherry brand, of Extremadura origin, coincides with an excellent start to the Jerte Valley cherry season. Sakura presents different varieties of cherry, among them California and Lapin, with an intense garnet colour, optimum organoleptic characteristics and exquisite flavour. They can be found with stalk or without stalk.
"Our cherries grow in Cabezuela del Valle, Valle del Jerte, and are grown at different altitudes, between 400 and 1,200 meters. The geographical situation allows for maximum yield from the beginning of the season until around 20 July. Early varieties such as Bourlat have hardly had any cracking weather effects. The other varieties have not been affected. I haven't seen a cherry like the one we harvested this season on the market: its flavour is exquisite, it has good calibre and it is aesthetically attractive", comments Francisco Riego, Martimar's General Manager.
"Our current sales area is Andalusia, the Canary Islands and Portugal, but we hope to expand the market. We distribute to all segments: from retail, wholesalers, market settlers and distribution in chains", explains Francisco Riego.
Sakura brand cherries are distributed in boxes of two kilos through Martimar in the facilities of Mercasevilla and Mercamálaga.
The excellence of a brand: hand in hand with the partners of origin
"At a strategic level, both in the Canary Islands and in the rest of the national and European territory, it is vital to develop lasting relationships with top-level producers. From this philosophy of differentiation and continuous improvement, brands such as Sakura emerge, hand in hand with our partners at source," continues Francisco Riego Ramos.
"Currently, fruit and vegetable distribution is in a phase of wild concentration. Many purchase offers have been rejected. We love what we do and believe that, under a multinational group, our clients and workers would lose service and quality. And we would deny our identity," he points out.From left to right: Alberto Riego Ramos, Francisco Riego Ramos, Miguel Ángel Riego Ramos and Francisco de Asís Riego Martín
"In our beginnings, when we only sold bananas from the Canary Islands and some tomatoes, we were very focused on the wholesale channel. With the passage of time, retail has become almost 20% of our annual turnover and we have business units specialising in retail and horeca customers", comments the General Manager.
At the end of 2013, Martimar inaugurates a section specialising in the distribution of tropical and exotic products ( banana, yucca, avocado, mushrooms, pineapple, mango, aromatic herbs, among others), a green line and its powerful pre-prepared convenience food range.
Investment and human capital to compete against large corporations
"We believe in what we do and how we do it, together with customers and suppliers. A great human team and the determination of our family, together with effort and perseverance, allow us to consolidate in a sector dominated by large corporations. Being a family business does not mean investing less, quite the opposite. In recent years we have expanded facilities in Seville and Malaga, improved our production centers in the Canary Islands, initiated lines of business, and created departments of human resources and marketing. We invest all of our profits in improvement. It is the only way to keep on competing", concludes the general manager of Martimar.
Francisco Riego Ramos, Managing Director of Martimar
The company is currently in the process of certification for organic products, working in a sustainable packaging room and studying new locations.
This year Martimar celebrates its 50th anniversary. After half a century as a wholesaler, it has reached a volume in 2018 of 32.1 million kilos of fruit and vegetables with 100% references and a turnover of 36.13 million euros.
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