At a time when Spanish fruit and vegetable producers are trying not to lose their position in European and international markets, opening new channels is an alternative.
"Many fruits and vegetables of high nutritional quality and optimal organoleptic qualities are discarded. The European market refuses products because they do not reach certain sizes or aesthetic standards. Finding out what to do with these products is important," says Silvia Madrueño, director of Business Development and Marketing at Sunrise Fruits Company.
Sunrise Fruits Company, founded by Giuseppe Pinca in 2002, is still a family trading company. The quality of its service and the management of short cycles allow it to meet the expectations of large and small customers, acting as an export agency and marketer for small growers.
"Our biggest client is Switzerland, but we are opening channels to new, less common countries for Spanish exports, such as Senegal, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, which we have reached with our own brand, Green Smile," says Silvia.
"In Europe, some products whose quality is not premium are rejected and sold at any price. It is therefore vital to look for new channels. Africa is one of them, and products such as carrots, potatoes, onions and leek, or fruits such as apples are well accepted," says Silvia Madrueño.
The business development expert says that Africa is a fluid and affordable market. "There can be some difficulties in the export process, but it is a good customer of fresh products and other product ranges."
She also says that storage is one of the key aspects, since the storage conditions in many African countries are very different from those we know in Europe: "The products we ship must be able to adapt to the reception and storage conditions, and it is essential for those products to be quality ones; if not, the shelf life could be very limited."
Partnership with stone fruit producers
For the Valencian company, this formula is a win-win situation: Spanish producers find viable outlets at an acceptable price for products which are non-suitable for the market because of a small caliber, for example. "Sunrise works with all types of customers, from small producers who can't and/or don't want to use intermediaries to large distribution companies," says Silvia Madrueño.
According to Silvia, a very wide range of products is likely to attract the interest of these channels, and Africa's demand is increasing in terms of both volume and assortment. "Most of the products we ship have good nutritional properties and certifications as demanding as IFS, Global Gap and Global Grasp, and there are naturally also organic products."
For more information:
Business Development and Marketing Director
Sunrise Fruits Company
Carrer Botiguers, 3
46980 Paterna, Valencia. Spain
T: +34 961 34 44 45