Times are not particularly easy for either fresh fruit traders or processors, as Rick Marwitz, sales representative at mirontell fein & frisch AG from Großbeeren in Brandenburg, told us. "The supply chains are disrupted from absent patrons to the distributors to the industry. To accommodate our customers, we try to stay in as close contact with them as possible to respond to their wishes and offer them appropriate products they need. In general, however, the market has not changed fundamentally. Everything is still status quo. Everyone is just waiting for normal life to return."
Mirontell has been selling various fruit salad creations throughout Germany and neighboring countries since 2004 to CC markets, among others, as well as to wholesalers, caterers and event organizers, and other sectors. The core business is in the hotel, catering and event industry, which has been particularly affected by the regulations.
However, since the opening up of kindergartens and schools, Mirontell itself has also experienced sporadic problems. "A lot of employees of ours are in quarantine right now because their children sometimes got infected in kindergarten or school. In general, there have been a lot of outages due to the quarantine measures, both at our customers and at our company," Marwitz said. "In the summer months, we had increased demand for standard catering and organic items. In the lockdown months, demand was again very high in the home delivery service. Here, we work very closely with Amazon Fresh, which had the biggest increase in this segment."
Comprehensive, in-house protection measures
Aside from the typical winter slump for this product line, 2G regulations also caused sales to drop. "Our production is not at full capacity right now. We do not yet see any relief for January and February. However, we certainly hope that the wave can be broken soon," Marwitz says. According to him, however, Mirontell is well prepared.
"Our corona protection measures are set higher than they are legally required to be, as we want to protect our employees and avoid production losses. We have not had to cancel any delivery days and we also want to remain fully operational. In addition, it is important for us to be able to map the entire fruit salad range."
Employees were vaccinated by Mirontell's company physician, which also gave the company a high vaccination rate, he said. Over the entire period, the company has not had a single case of corona to report. Isolated employee departures were within the normal range.
Organic certification and fruit from all over the world
According to Marwitz, the company experienced its most severe slump shortly after the first outbreak in March 2020, but Mirontell used the time to stabilize, develop new products and enter new markets. The company also became certified organic in the winter of 2020. "We are in a much better position in 2021 than we were in 2020. Demand is very good, especially for organic products."
Mirontell sources the fruit used for production from around the world. "Of course, this is season-related. We try to source from Europe during the summer months. But as pineapples do not grow in Europe, we have to get them from Central America or Africa. In the winter months, we then resort to overseas produce such as melons from Honduras and Brazil," says Marwitz.
"Because we place the highest value on hygiene standards, we are also constantly trying to make our machines more efficient and thereby keep our production standards high. We would be happy if we could get through the current wave quickly and travel restrictions would go back as early as possible. If we can get off to a good start again by April at the latest. The important thing is to keep business as strong as possible."
For more information:
mirontell fein & frisch AG
Zum Kiesberg 8
Tel.: +49 (33701) 3573-0
Fax.: +49 (33701) 3573-50