The Hamburg family name Schindler has been firmly established in the international import and distribution of tropical fruits and exotics for years. In addition to offices in India, Mexico and South Africa, the company recently opened its own branch in Tanta, Egypt, in the heart of the Nile Delta. The purpose of this expansion of the distribution network is to get a better grip on the local processes at the origin and to further promote the international distribution of Egyptian citrus fruits, CEO Andreas Schindler explains.
Don Limon wants to further expand the proven business model and has already been selling oranges and clementines from Egyptian cultivation for about seven years. In this respect, opening our own office was a logical step, says Schindler: "Our philosophy has been to have employees in the country for 20 years, who speak the local language and understand the culture accordingly. We currently employ two people, but we would like to gradually increase the number of staff. Our team takes care of the loading there as well as the quality management. We already feel that we have a better grip on the processes there."
Revival of market activity
According to Schindler, the potential for growth in import volumes is particularly high for Egyptian citrus fruits. "The available volumes as well as the product quality are optimal. The whole citrus industry in Egypt is arguably one of the most modern in the world and continues to develop."
Nevertheless, the current situation at the beginning of the season is quite tense: "The markets are under pressure: The market for Valencia oranges recorded a pleasing demand for a long time, then sales collapsed abruptly in the second lockdown. Although an initial recovery is noticeable, the market for fresh oranges has not yet fully recovered."
From Egypt, mainly Valencia, Navel and Baladi oranges are exported for the fresh market. Clementine production is mainly concentrated on the two varieties Tango and Murcott. The supply is expected to end in May.
Main supplier of low-priced citrus fruits
All in all, the upcoming season is expected to be quite nice. The first Egyptian clementines are already in circulation, the first juice oranges of the Baladi variety will arrive in the course of week 6. Schindler: "Egyptian oranges mainly end up where fresh juice is pressed, for example in Southern Europe, Poland but also Germany. Egypt is increasingly becoming the main supplier of inexpensive citrus fruits and the market share is tending to increase further."
The first shipments are already on their way to Europe.
The Egyptian citrus fruits are also shipped to Hamburg in bulk before being repacked at the company's own packing station. "Similar to our other products, we pack the citrus fruits in the desired packaging size for our food retail customers at home and abroad. We will be expanding our packing capacity with new machines and during the course of this year."