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"The situation forces us in Finland to find alternative origins for Spain and other southern producer countries"

The climatic challenges across Europe, especially in Spain as a main supplier to Finland, is driving importers in the Scandinavian country to look to other supplying countries to mitigate their risk. Keeping the Finnish market supplied in the right windows, in a market known for their high fruit and vegetable consumption, is a big task. Satotukku, the fresh fruits and vegetables importer and wholesaler in Finland, part of the Greenfood Group, also sees inflation dampening the mood of consumers.

Spain is a big supplier to the Scandinavian countries, but they have had very dry summers lately, posing challenges for big importers like Satotukku. According to Kaisa Malmberg, Commercial Director of Satotukku, "This is our common worry. We see it partly already, there might be shortages, fruit sizes might be smaller or quality compromised, and prices might change more rapidly than before. The situation forces us to find alternative origins for Spain and other southern producer countries."

Satotukku is a leading fresh fruits and vegetables importer and wholesaler in Finland. "We have strong roots in fresh business in the Finnish market, we have offered wide assortment of delicious fruits, vegetables and berries already for 57 years, for retailers, wholesalers and lately to E-commerce customers too. We import from all over the world, roughly 40 million kilos a year. Bananas are being the biggest product, following by tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges and small citrus, apples, lettuce and grapes," explains Malmberg.

Finland is seen as a high income country, but inflation spurred on by their neighbor Russia's war in Ukraine has caused prices across Europe to increase a lot. Malmberg says inflation has a big impact on fresh produce consumption, which has lowered in Finland. "Unfortunately, we also see sales being impacted by inflation. The purchasing power from the households has decreased, affecting consumer behavior in the way they consume fewer fresh fruits and vegetables. Their shopping basket still includes the top fruits and top vegetables from the basic categories, but they might leave out fresh herbs, berries or exotic fruits, or simply buy them rarely. Also, the sales of organic products has suffered from inflation. This may vary depending on the area."

Spring to summer supply local and European
She says their spring to summer supply will come from Europe as well as their local market. "Now in spring season we sell European asparagus, new crop cabbage and potatoes, stone fruits, watermelon and other melons from Spain and soon looking forward to cherries. All new crop greenhouse vegetables from the Netherlands are the foundations of our assortment. In summer, we have our peak season for all locally produced vegetables, both from tunnels and open field, and for lovely strawberries, raspberries and later on the summer on wild forest berries. Also, watermelon and other melons and all stone fruits are very important. As our winter has been cold, long and very snowy, we Finns really expect to enjoy the sun, spend time outside and enjoy the summer also on our plates," states Malmberg.

They also source fruit from South America, with bananas making up the biggest volumes of imported fruit type. "Bananas we are selling well, it's the first thing for a consumer to pick up from a supermarket fresh department," says Malmberg.

They have also seen the impact of the shipping delays from the Red Sea, mainly on table grapes from India. "The Indian grapes season is significant for us too in spring, and this year the challenge has been the longer route via South Africa, making the fruit on water travel an extra two weeks. Quality this year has been very good, luckily," concludes Malmberg.

For more information:
Kaisa Malmberg
Tel: +358 10 581 6041
Email: [email protected]