"For the last couple of weeks, FruitOne has been receiving good quality lemons from it owns farms,” says Andres Ribas, Managing Director for Europe. “And this week we are receiving top quality Argentinian lemons (from Ledesma), what for many would be the best packing standard from Argentina in Lemons and Oranges. With great pleasure we will enter a European market that has already insufficient production volumes, overgrown sizes and lower quality lemons. Due to the climatic conditions that Spain and Turkey have suffered from in the last few months, it is clear that shelf life and sizes have issues to fulfil the market specifications”, he adds.
“Due to erratic shipping logistics, strong phytosanitary controls at origin and huge cost increases in shipping rates, the southern hemisphere has not been able to load, so far, enough lemons to respond to the European demand. Surely the situation will change for arrivals in the coming months, but for now we are experiencing a huge demand of our quality lemons. In short, the situation is clearly a mess. It is too complex to visualize the expected demands and returns, to forecast far in advance what is going to happen: war in Ukraine, logistics upside down in scheduling and costing, a changing climate affecting crops and infrastructure, inflation & social unrest growing in many producer countries, food & energy costs affecting consumption, currencies moving up and down, even Crypto markets shaking. Nevertheless, no matter what many try to forget, there are still issues regarding Covid rate increases in some countries. China is an example of it now, which alters the whole container rotation planning and probably will impact the consumer prices,” clarifies Andres Ribas.
Currently FruitOne Europe is also receiving the first quality grapefruit loads from Europe in a very similar context to the lemons. In the meantime, FruitOne farms in South Africa are close to starting the harvest of its Tango mandarins for export. The fruit is colouring up nicely week by week, and thanks to consumer awareness of its eating and taste qualities, it has become a great success for European retailers and other specialized segments.
“It is a clearly a year to optimize the supply-chain related costs efficiently, a good segmentation of programs to the best customers around the world and to defend the right brands, which can guarantee a good shelf life (without forgetting the MRL levels to match), solid packaging and the best varieties to bring top fruit quality to the consumers. A marketing mix we have already pushed forward in our group and with associated partners, for the last decade!” concludes Andres Ribas.