Rik Thoen and Guido van Meggelen, JamboFresh:

"Focus on Kenyan avocados"

In 2015 Rik Thoen and Muido van Meggelen started JamboFresh. Jambo is and East African greeting, which connects to the core business of the enterprise: marketing Kenyan avocados. Last week the company moved to a sales office in the centre of Rotterdam. "We consciously chose not to have an office with a logistics service provider. This allows us to guarantee our customers full independence and we can choose the speciality of a dealer per product."

"Our original plan was to carry four to six items. This idea is still in play for the coming years, but we have chosen to initially focus on avocados. We obtain the avocados from production areas globally, but we work closely with multiple professional suppliers in Kenya, most of whom are GlobalGAP certified, which in combination with GRASP, means we can offer a really defining product. We work fully transparently and share all our knowledge of the market."

"Our focus is on Hass avocados, partially due to the transit time from Kenya, but we also sporadically market other varieties. The Kenyan avocados normally define themselves due to the season, but due to the perils of the weather, the seasons are increasingly difficult to predict. This also makes it difficult to give information to the European customer. Normally the Kenyan avocado season runs from the end of April until the end of September, after which the season is continued for a short while in January-February, but it ended unexpectedly early this year."

Rik and Guido don't find it hard to focus on one product. "There is a constant good demand for avocados globally. In fact, the market is dealing with worldwide shortages, with the plantations not being able to keep up with the demand. Now that the market in Asia is pulling up and the American demand is high, it is a more difficult task for the European market to get enough trade. This popularity will not soon decline; 60 dollars was paid for a box of avocados on the Australian wholesale market last week."

"We certainly want to expand our assortment over the coming years and are already picking up products that come our way. We marketed a lot of Israeli peppers last winter and shipped the necessary Peruvian pomegranates last summer. But we are selective and want to be a quality firm. We are looking for suppliers in South America in particular who meet these selection criteria. In sales we focus mainly on supermarket providers throughout Europe with our reasonably small package."

Rik and Guido look back at the first two years of JamboFresh with satisfaction. "We don't aim to be huge, but excellent. Our location in the centre of Rotterdam suits us fine. What fruit and vegetable trader can say they travel to work by public transport?"

For more information:
Scheepmakershaven 32-B
3011 VB Rotterdam
Rik Thoen
+31 (0) 683992057
Guido van Meggelen
+31 (0) 683995884
New website: www.jambofresh.nl

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