Ellen van Kester, Horticola Guadalfeo:

"Controled growth with broad speciality tomato assortment"

After having been working in the Dutch fruit and vegetable trade Ellen van Kester
left for Spain six years ago to become sales manager at the family company
Horticola Guadalfeo in Mortril, a company which has specialised in speciality tomatoes and Chinese cabbage. "In the past we had more standard tomatoes, but now we concentrate on specialities and we have developed a good name in this."

"We offer the total speciality assortment from cherry tomatoes on the vine to RAF-tomatoes. Half of the offer is own production and the remainder we obtain from own growers. With about 100 HA we are not even a large player on a Spanish scale, but by growing slowly we control the quality very well," Ellen says. 
Sales are both local and on the export market. "We export some to the Dutch market, but a large part of our products can be found in English supermarkets. We have built a good position there. About 75% of the production we grow already has a customer. For a large part the products are finally packed by the retailers themselves."
According to Ellen there is more competition from other Spanish speciality growers and the Moroccan cultivation of speciality tomatoes also increases. "We can be different from other suppliers by offering products of quality and the wide variety. Because of the strong position we have built, the pressure on our company is less than on the companies of colleagues."
The most important threat for the company is, according to the Dutch salesperson, not transport problems but the general economic situation in Spain. "On the wholesale markets it is clear at the end of the month that less has been sold and that terms of payment are really beyond bounds. For our company I look at the future as positive. By growing step by step we control the quality and that is our tie with the client." 
For more information:
Ellen van Kester
Horticola Guadalfeo
199, Ctra. Celulosa Km.
18600 Motril
Tel: 958 60 23 04
Fax: 958 82 49 26


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