In Brazil, the most important melon harvesting began this month. There is now fresh water in pits. That's thanks to the increased rainfall in the Rio Grande do Norte/Mossoró in the run-up to the season. These rains were, of course, very welcome. It's been very dry in the melon production area for a long time.
Melons are an important product group for Staay Food Group. They have all the varieties available year-round. These come from Costa Rica and Spain. And soon, from the Brazilian region of Mossoró again. The first shipment of watermelons, Galia, Cantaloupe en YHD, were shipped to this Dutch produce wholesaler over the weekend.
The company's melon partner in Brazil is MATA FRESCA. They once again packaged these melons in the Staay Food Group's well-known DULCE brand. These melons are Rainforest Alliance certified too.
The first volumes of these fresh melons should arrive in the Netherlands in about a fortnight. Staay-Hispa will receive these. After that, another supplier, Grupo Real, will also start shipping its melons. These will be under the NERO Premium house brand. Additionally, in collaboration with our partner Jimbofresh we receive the Okashi and Lililup melons from Brazil.
"This season, we can offer melons in bins from our fixed assortment. These are Piel de Sapo and mini-watermelons, as well as watermelons," says Aad van der Kleij, Commercial Manager at Staay-Hispa.
"Flavor, appearance, and shelf life are these products' distinguishing factors. We translate our clients' wishes back into choosing the correct varieties. We have longterm relationships with both growers."
"So, we can ensure continuity in quantity, quality, safety, and sustainability. All our melons meet the highest certification and MRL standards. Staay Food Group's melons are packed exclusively from our own crops. We buy nothing from third parties where traceability can't be entirely guaranteed," continues Aad.
"We have a constant supply. So, we can, in principle, already honor the pre-agreed-upon programs with Europen retailers. That's for the whole season. Arrangements have also already been made for sufficient transportation space. That's with the shipping companies, MSC and CMA-CGM's weekly sailings. We must be able to trust that they will adequately fulfill the agreements made, and that they will have full control over the logistics part of the weekly departures of the trade.”
COVID-19 in Brazil
Brazil was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation there led to a general decline in the regional melon and watermelon acreage. Many producers chose to plant cautiously. That's in the face of the coronavirus's impact on global economics.
"Our melon farmers took all possible preventative measures to prevent contamination. Not only in the fields, but in the warehouses and offices too. We, therefore, hope the European markets will respond positively. Measures have been taken everywhere to contain COVID-19," adds Aad.
"Our growers are optimistic about this season's melons and watermelons' quality. Everything's growing and blossoming as it should. We've taken all possible steps to provide our clients with tasty melons this year too. We did this together with our farmers."