The company offers its premium varieties on the market, such as cherry tomatoes, baby plum tomatoes or cherry vine tomatoes and Kumato. Some of these tomato varieties are exclusively licensed to Delassus.
Delassus grows and supplies more than 30,000 tons, mostly to the UK. Limited volumes were sent to the UAE market last season as an experiment. In this way, they've became familiar with the particular circumstances of the Dubai market, such as consumer response, customs protocols and logistics. While it’s still too soon for Delassus to set any sales targets, Imane is positive about the prospects for Dubai.
The tomatoes are directly sold to retailers. El Arif added that there aren’t any huge differences between the UK and Dubai markets. Consumers of both regions prefer shiny, full red and crunchy tomatoes. The main difference comes down to logistics. “We can deliver our produce from Morocco to the UK in 3 to 5 days. For Dubai this is obviously different as we need either to use air cargo or longer transit time by containers (9 days).
“Our customers in Dubai are keenly aware of what comprises good quality. Customers in the UK market demand quality as well, but over in Dubai the standard for quality is especially high.” She also said that unlike Europe, the Dubai market doesn’t have any seasonal shifts in demand. This means Delassus will be able to market its tomatoes to this region the whole year round.
The company has over 350 hectares under its own production. Starting from the season of 2015/2016, Delassus is the first company from Morocco to make use of horticulture. The company has set up 2.5 hectares of mid-tech greenhouses. This type of greenhouse makes use of glass as opposed to plastic. It provides control of irrigation and has higher roofs for improved ventilation. Due to the warm climate of Morocco, these mid-tech greenhouses have no need for temperature control.
Their main competition on the markets in the Middle East comes from the Netherlands, France and other companies in Morocco. There are also some local competitors in neighboring countries like Jordan. “The amount of competition on the global market for tomatoes is growing. At the same time, the market has also become very exciting. There are more opportunities for us,” concludes El Arif.
Delassus also plans to export more tomatoes to the Middle East. There are plans for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman in the near future.
For more information:
Imane El Arif