In recent years, Egypt has become one of the most important growing regions in the world. One of the consequences of this is that more and more major suppliers are specialising in Egyptian imported goods, which is why the quantities and product range are being rapidly expanded. However, competition is fierce, especially for popular items such as sweet potatoes and pomegranates, says Yahia El-basousy, owner of Fruit Smile GmbH based at the Vienna wholesale market in Inzersdorf.
"Our main season is clearly concentrated on the winter months", the wholesaler explains on demand. At the moment it is slowly but surely becoming quieter in sales, he adds. "At the moment we are trading less Egyptian products, but mainly fruit vegetables from Italian cultivation, such as aubergines, courgettes and cucumbers. These three products actually sell quite well all year round."
Company owner Yahia El-basousy in the greenhouse.
A certain part of the products is sourced directly from our own cultivation in Egypt, explains the company owner. "We offer sweet potatoes continuously in summer in quantities relevant to the market. Depending on the market situation, we also supply pomegranates: if there is a delay or shortage in the Turkish campaign, we have good marketing opportunities. As a rule, however, we cannot keep up with the low Turkish prices. We are already feeling considerable price pressure."
Fresh courgettes from Italy
Although the Egyptian agricultural sector has now acquired a good starting position in international exports, domestic competition is particularly fierce, El-basousy said. "There are many companies in Egypt that cultivate and export their goods themselves. It is particularly difficult for new entrepreneurs to establish themselves in this market environment.
The relatively young company has its own fleet of vehicles. Among others, it supplies retailers in various major German cities
Supermarkets in major German cities
Nevertheless, the company, founded in 2013, has been able to convince an international customer base. "Although we are located at the Vienna wholesale market, our delivery area extends as far as Frankfurt, Leipzig, Berlin and even Hamburg. It is precisely in these large cities that I supply independent supermarkets with my own trucks," the company concludes.