Growers and exporters from the small island nation of the Dominican Republic, describing their home as ‘The heart of the Caribbean’, say they can provide some of the freshest produce to European consumers and are reliable suppliers. They will carry this message with them to this year’s Fruit Attraction exhibition, taking place in Madrid early next month, as part of their first official country pavilion at the show.
The ProDominicana team Carmen Ortega, Jaime Licairac and Maricela Lachapelle
According to Angel W. Leguisamon, CEO and owner of Transna Trading, a leading grower and exporter of pineapples, peppers and other vegetables based in the Dominican Republic, European trade can rely on them, not just for shortfalls but to supply the freshest produce all year round and within mere days after harvesting.
“The heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic are reliable suppliers close to Europe. In case any production goes down, they can always rely on us. They can rely on Transna Trading."
"The Dominican Republic is very well located when it comes to ships and flights. From the USA we are the last port to touch the US to go to Europe. From here to Europe only takes nine days. We have the ability to source a product way fresher than anyone else in the Americas. From other countries it takes over 23 days when we only do nine days. For example banana shipments from other countries take over 20 days, while from us it only takes nine days. Fruit Attraction is a very well-known fair. I went last year and in previous years. We participated we had a stand. We did some business, we captured new clients and everything. This year we are going with the government promotion agency ProDominicana.”
Transna Trading's owner (left) Angel W. Leguisaman and Melissa Hernandez
Leguisamon says that, besides the shortest shipping time to Europe, they also have all year round production. “I am busy obtaining and activating new lands to grow produce to allow importers to source from us all year long. When we have avocados, we have it available all year round. The same goes for mangoes. We can source Keitt and Palmer mangoes all year round. In Spain they have some mangoes, so we cannot compete with local logistics, etc."
"In the last seven years I have learned, I’m not just sitting here, waiting for orders. We are able to supply more markets and I have done so. I started supplying the US business in Miami. They don’t stop, they source all year round. In the Dominican Republic we have the land, 300 days of sunshine with good temperatures and a great location,” states Leguisamon.
Kisha Rodrigues Then, from the pineapple producer Caralinda Agroindustrial, in the Dominican Republic, agrees that they are well positioned to supply Europe and beyond with their Caribbean produce.
“At a time when logistics is so important, one of our strengths is our geographical location, being the Dominican Republic. It is a hub for exports, our logistics times are very competitive, compared to those of the region. In turn, it is a country that has been recognized by the World Tourism Organization as the first country to recover tourism after the fall due to the pandemic, this offers us the opportunity to once again have the availability of flights, to be able to send gourmet fruits, ready to eat, to the exclusive markets of Europe.”
Brother Cesar and sister Kisha Rodrigues Then of Caralinda
Maricela Lachapelle, Export Executive at ProDominicana: “For the first time ProDominicana will have a Country Pavilion at this year's Fruit Attraction exhibition. We have been joining efforts to provide all exporters with growth opportunities and exposure at international events in favour of compliance with our country's National Plan to Promote Exports. This year we will have 10 co-exhibitor companies that will exhibit the following produce: Avocados, organic and conventional bananas, coconuts, peppers, mangoes, macadamia nuts and others. Come and visit us at the booth 6B09 and experience our products grown from the heart of the Caribbean.”
Rodrigues Then concludes: “Fruit Attraction is a fair that is constantly growing and in each new version we can find new market options. To attend this exhibition is important for us because with this we can make our products known to the Spanish market and to the new markets that are participating in the show. I invite you to try the fruits produced in the Dominican Republic to give yourself the opportunity to know about our products and offer to your customers a little bit of the Caribbean in their plates.”