The names of Murcia, Almería and Huelva resonate in the foreign fruit and vegetable market; however, Cádiz is still quite unknown as a producing region. “It is important to support Cadiz's agriculture by generating positive communication around growers and their productions. In fact, this region has the highest availability of water in the south and optimal soils. In addition, we are the first to harvest, which is good for us at a marketing level,” says Ignacio Bosque, manager of ibosque.
ibosque was born with the goal of putting Cádiz on the map internationally. “We had observed that, although producers in the agricultural and food sector could become marketers, it was not an easy task, especially when the culture and target language at destination were unknown,” says Ignacio Bosque, founder and manager of the company.
“We have focused on Cadiz's producers, with whom we have a close relationship. We currently represent several producers with a potential of 2,400 hectares. Our job is to create synergies and capital gains and bring the product to the end of the distribution chain, especially in Germany,” says Ignacio.
Knowing the producer and the consumer well creates synergies
Ignacio Bosque has lived in Germany and has in-depth knowledge about the mentality and needs of the German consumer. “For many years, I myself have been that German-type consumer who now receives our products. I am within the percentile with more weight in Germany; the ones exporting producers try to reach. In addition, since I'm from Cádiz, I also understand the producers and the characteristics of the region's products. My job is to represent them efficiently in a complex market. Of course, knowing the language and culture facilitates the marketing tasks,” says Ignacio.
“In marketing, making a difference brings added value. This can be achieved with differentiating features: a brand, a name, a logo, a packaging format… or simply by combining products or varieties to offer a bundle product. With these and other actions, the value increases and the distance between origin and consumer is shortened. That's where our focus should be,” says Ignacio Bosque.
Carrots and onions from Cádiz: little known flagship products
“The proximity of the Natural Park of the Alcornocales creates optimal conditions and the water reserves put us in an advantageous position. The sandy lands absorb the rain well and facilitate the harvest. In addition, the wide typology of soils (black, clay, etc.) allows great crop versatility,” says Ignacio.
“Resistance to change is logical and marketing is not easy, hence why it is important to promote Cádiz's potential. In fact, most of the Spanish organic carrots that are exported to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavian countries come from this area, as is the case of Cortijo Bio, pioneer in the cultivation that has obtained organic carrot productions exceeding 10,000 tons,” says Ignacio.
65% of the goods handled by ibosque are organic and the rest, conventional. “We must try not to exclude: neither the bio is so bio, nor the conventional is so bad. It all depends on the practices,” says Ignacio.
“We connect the producer with the client in a transparent way and adding value. We must not forget that the reputation of Spanish products in Germany is something you need to work on. As solid business relationships are created, trust in the producer and its products are strengthened,” says the ibosque manager.
“Our latest bet is the onion production. We are working with a family producer in the area to develop an internationalization and export plan for four varieties of fresh onions and peeled onions for the processing and freezing industries,” says Ignacio.
Sweet potato, on its way to becoming a commodity
“Carrots are still a commodity; they are integrated into our diet and culture and stable productions always find a market. The price rises and falls are usually acceptable, although in recent years we are seeing greater instability. We believe that this can happen with sweet potatoes. They have the capacity to become a commodity, as is the case in the United Kingdom,” says Ignacio Bosque.
“In Europe, sweet potatoes are gaining ground on regular potatoes because of their greater nutritional properties, gastronomic versatility and more remarkable flavor. They also fit in with healthy eating trends,” he says.