Margins getting smaller for Moroccan tomato growers

Rising production costs and shrinking profit margins have forced many of Morocco's smaller tomato growers out of business. That's left mostly large growers producing and exporting tomatoes for the European market. But even for those large grows, rising costs have forced them to find new markets and search for ways to cut costs.

“The tomato market is very difficult at the moment,” said Taquie-Dine Cherradi of Matysha Moroccan Group. “We must emphasize quality and be able to maintain supplies for the whole season, and good market diversification is mandatory.” Matysha grows about 40,000 tons of tomatoes every year on 300 hectares of greenhouses. Their beef, cluster, round, cocktail, cherry and olivette tomatoes are exported throughout Europe, North America and Africa, and even with that kind of spread, Taquie-Dine is always looking for additional diversification.

“Our base of clientele is getting wider,” he said, “but we need to extend our customers to maximize the market for our tomatoes.” That includes diversifying product mapping as well as targeting the retail pre-packaged market. Strategic partnerships are also required, and Matysha has cultivated those in Europe. It has agreements at fixed prices with partners through its trade platform in France.

“We must also optimize expenses and master the costs of production and packaging,” noted Taquie-Dine. The company has upgraded its cold storage facility to handle more product, and it has the only packing station in Africa that is fully climate-controlled. It has earned several awards as one of the top tomato exporters on the continent, and yet, Taquie-Dine knows that more is required because of the exigencies of the global tomato market.

“Each year we look to increase our exports by 15 percent,” he said. “Production techniques have to evolve to modern production.”

For more information:

Taquie-Dine Cherradi El Fadili
Lymouna Matysha
GSM Maroc : +212(0)6 61 16 34 54
GSM France : +33(0)6 25 53 65 53

Author: Carlos Nunez / Yzza Ibrahim

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