The Spanish melon and stone fruit season is relatively slow to get going this year. "Watermelons continue to trade at quite high prices, and the same is true for Galia and Cantaloupe. Due to weather, export volumes so far have been relatively subdued, and the quality and calibers of available produce have also been less than optimal in some cases. However, we hope that prices will soon be adjusted downwards somewhat, so sales will accelerate," says Andre Wex, joint managing director of the Cologne-based fruit trading company.
He also says that marketing of Spanish stone fruit was rather sluggish initially. Wex: "Especially with apricots, we had to struggle with quality problems at the beginning of the season. In general, good stone fruits are still in demand, but prices have nevertheless settled at an acceptable level. So overall, supply and demand are about in balance."
As the end of the season approaches, they are trying to accommodate the last batches of Spanish early potatoes.
Accommodating complaints and surpluses
From being a classic wholesale company, Wex Ltd has increasingly specialized in the accommodation of complaints and overhangs over the years. And not without success, according to André Wex, who runs the company together with his father Carlo. "We now work with almost all the well-known food retail chains in Germany and have a growing network throughout Europe, whether Spain, the Netherlands or Eastern Europe."
The increased focus on food waste and the higher quality requirements in food retailing are a challenge for the Cologne-based company. They have been pursuing the concept for many years and experience daily increasing acceptance with the trade of second-class fruit & vegetables. "We haven't, so far, been able to find a buyer for scarcely 80% of the rejected commodity and save it from the Tone". continues Wex. "Food waste is a hot topic these days, but accommodating rejects and the service and logistics around this is anything but easy. It's a heavily fluctuating, demanding business: when supply is abundant, a lot of goods are claimed, whereas when supply is tight, hardly any goods are refused."
Images: Wex Ltd.