Many people from the Dutch fruit and vegetable sector will be leaving for the trade show in Madrid next week. However, Dutchman, Marc de Bruijn, has a real home ground advantage.
Marc used to work at Origin Fruit Direct and FruitFactor in the Netherlands. He has worked and lived in Spain for five years now. More recently, at the Spanish importer, Cultivar.
Cultivar's main offices are in the wholesale market in Barcelona. They have five other branches too. These are in Palma, Seville, Bilbao, and Madrid. Marc works in Madrid.
"Originally, Cultivar was a true Spanish importer. But in recent years, they have created an international team. They want to gain more of a foothold in other parts of Europe," says Marc.
"We are doing this with, among others, French and Italian colleagues. They focus on their own markets. I, in turn, do so on the Northwest European market. Of course, in the Netherlands. But also in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. I focus on supermarkets as well as co-importers."
Cultivar does not have its own production in Spain. However, the importer gets produce year-round from overseas. This includes avocados, mangos, papayas, and limes. They are active as a Zespri kiwi panelist too. "We focus mainly on airfreight mangos. We get an annual volume of about 9,000 tons. This makes us the biggest importer of mangos in Europe," continues Marc.
"It is currently a somewhat quieter time on the import market. We are at the start of the Peruvian mango season. We hope to begin with the first airfreight mangos soon. The avocado supply is running smoothly. There are avocados from Chile, Mexico, and Colombia at the moment. With limes, we are currently in a transition period. There is less supply. This limited supply creates a good market for October."
Cultivar has its own ripening facilities in Barcelona. The importer also has a separate organic division. The company markets this fruit under the Cozumel and Exotica labels. "A goal for the coming time is to grow the Exotica Ready-to-Eat brand. This is already an established brand in the Spanish retail sector. We want to expand with avocados and mangos further into Europe," says Marc.
"We focus on both supermarkets and wholesalers. You can see an increasing shift toward supermarkets, even in our home market in Spain. We have branches in five wholesale markets. This presence remains important."
Marc is looking forward to next week's trade show. "It is always a fun trade fair. I am looking forward to meeting interested parties at our stand (10D01)," he concludes.