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Gaëlle Purdue, fruit and vegetable export sales representative at ESC DIRECT

“I think we will really see the difference next year”

Created in 2013, ESC Direct ships its merchandise to wholesalers based on the London markets: Western, Manchester, New Covent Garden, as well as to factories. The company also has its own brand, ESC Direct, for cauliflowers, romanesco cabbage and artichokes produced in Brittany.

Mainly Moroccan and Spanish supply
For 9 years, Gaëlle Purdue has been buying directly from French producers (Brittany, Finistère), Spanish producers, or from Moroccan producers in Perpignan to serve wholesalers in the UK. “I buy pallets for clients looking for large volumes. We receive orders on the Rungis market and our trucks then deliver to England.”

“I mainly sell products from Morocco (peppers, eggplants, zucchinis, tomatoes) from November until March/April. Starting in May, the Netherlands arrives on the market. The activity then slows down during the summer and I slowly start again in September.”

And in order to adapt to its clients’ demand, ESC Direct sometimes completes its orders with exotic products bought directly on the Rungis market. 

Typical day
“We work either under contract or buying by the day with prices that change daily. The merchandise we buy is then shipped by truck to the Rungis market to subsequently be delivered the next day on the British markets, between 9pm and midnight. I really work with supply and demand. The clients ask me what they want and I inform them, for example, of the price of the cauliflower from Brittany or the availability of a product whose season has just started.”

Prices on the rise
With the global increase in the cost of raw materials, vegetable prices are likely to soar this winter. “We depend on many factors: gas prices, strikes, weather, taxes ... And this year is quite complicated, everything is going up. The carriers pass the increase in gas prices onto their prices. Wooden crates are also more expensive, among others, and with all these factors combined, vegetables will inevitably be more expensive.”

“We don’t have enough hindsight”
Brexit has strongly disrupted the organization of trade, especially when it comes to administrative formalities. The arrival of the pandemic did not help to draw an informed assessment of the campaigns. “For the moment, it is still difficult to tell because we don’t have enough hindsight. With Covid, there hasn’t been a full season since Brexit. Restaurants and schools were closed from December until May. I think we will really see the difference next year. This year, the demand was high in March and April because everything reopened in the UK, but since then, the market is globally very calm. We are now coming into the peak season for Moroccan products and the campaign looks promising.”

For more information:
Gaëlle Purdue
ESC Direct
Mobile: +33 7 89 86 66 75  

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