The Middle East is a significant consumer of fresh produce, but with little local production the region heavily relies on imports. “We are expanding our export network to serve markets in that region,” says Gaston Marquevich, CEO of Georgia-based Generation Farms. “We are focused on growing fresh food with flexibility, and we are thrilled to help meet the growing demands for fresh produce, particularly in the Middle East, by establishing our export operations to Dubai,” he added. The United Arab Emirates will be Generation’s first destination outside North America. The country imported close to 344 million kilograms of onions in 2018, making them a very interesting market to export to.
Generation Farms will deliver fresh onions to the UAE on a monthly basis and plans to include other fresh produce, including bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, squash, oranges, and garlic.
Pictured right is Gaston Marquevich.
From farms in Vidalia Georgia, several climate-controlled, 40-foot containers carry the onions by ship from the Port of Savannah to the Port of Jebel Ali in Dubai. The journey takes about 23 days. Myrna Dotti, general manager of Maximise Solutions - a UAE consulting company - and Middle East sales representative for Generation Farms, was instrumental in establishing this new export operation.
Year-round export program
The company plans to grow its export operation and produce variety for the UAE alongside increasing demand for high quality fresh food products. Generation Farms now helps guarantee a quality supply of fresh food to the UAE market, in the absence of favorable conditions for domestic food production. “One of our competitive advantages is that we are able to supply our customers with year-round production because we have operations and packing facilities in multiple states.” More than 70,000 acres of onions and other produce are grown, packed, and shipped out of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Arkansas. In addition, the company has operations in Peru.