At this time of year, Alterbio, an organic product specialist, is particularly focused on citrus fruit. “The demand is very good. All our clients are buying citrus fruit at the moment: both the stores specialized in organic products and also supermarkets and wholesalers. French schools have reopened so the wholesalers who supply the school sector are back on the market,” explains Madjid Aïdh, sales manager of the company.
Madjid adds that Alterbio meets the high demand with large volumes and good prices. “The quality of the merchandise is also very high. This year, the season is really promising, with very juicy fruit.”
Madjid does not believe that the high demand is related to the Covid-19 pandemic. “During the first lockdown, in March/April, the demand was exceptional on the market, but I don’t think the current demand is related to Covid.”
The range of citrus fruit at Alterbio is very wide. “In oranges, we are finishing the Navelina and starting the Navel Late. We also offer the Cara Cara, the Maltese and blood oranges, as well as the end of the clementines and beginning of the mandarins.” In January, the rain in Spain caused some harvest problems. “The rain disrupted the logistics a little, but luckily, this only lasted for a few days.”
Small market for tomatoes
A product which, unlike citrus fruit, Alterbio does not sell well at the moment, is the tomato. “The organic tomato market has become relatively small,” explains Madjid. “For several years now, many of our major clients specialized in organic products have refrained from offering ‘ratatouille’ products in the winter. This development concerns especially the French market. Moreover, consumers of organic products do not consume tomatoes in the winter, or only a little. The tomato represents only 4% of our volumes at the moment.”
For Alterbio, there are only a few stores that still want organic tomatoes in the winter. “The demand is normal for this time of year, but the cold temperatures in Spain in January slowed down production, so there is still a shortage of volumes.”
In October, Alterbio obtained the IFS certification. For its first year with the certification, the company has obtained a score of 95.08%.