Bardini+Keller and Verdeimport joined forces a few months ago. These two Swiss fruit and vegetable companies are now called Bardini & Verde. It imports and sells local and overseas products. The new cooperation makes the company one of the bigger imported asparagus, blueberry, and fig players. "We have close contacts with suppliers in numerous countries. That guarantees customers A-quality and fast delivery," says managing director Andreas Allenspach.
The new company's three-pronged management team: Andreas Allenspach, Siegbert Wiehl, and Erik Stadler.
"The two companies complement each other perfectly. That is regarding product range as well as clients and suppliers." The group offers the entire fruit and vegetable range. However, the emphasis is on particularly imported products. That is thanks to long-standing contacts with suppliers in various countries.
"Verdeimport led the overseas figs market for many years. And Bardini+Keller was already importing large volumes of these from Turkey. Now that we're working together, we can offer fresh figs year-round," Andreas continues.
Blueberries and asparagus
The company also imports and trades large quantities of blueberries throughout the year. "Blueberry consumption has increased rapidly in recent years. Nevertheless, there's still room for further growth. The current Peruvian season is ending. Chile, meanwhile, is pushing into the market with ever-increasing volumes."
But, according to Andreas, given the season, the asparagus market is somewhat quieter. "In winter we import green asparagus from Peru and Mexico and white asparagus from Peru. From mid-March, we start with Danube asparagus, which is popular in Switzerland. It comes from Slovakia and Hungary. And we can fall back on large Italian and Spanish volumes," he says.
Challenging fresh produce logistics
The global pandemic has not left Bardini & Verde untouched. It is complicating, especially imports and logistics, says the importer. "At present, it's no simple task to ship overseas products here. Containers are scarce and unbelievably expensive. But, we've managed to, so far, avoid any significant shortages. That's thanks to a good network and timely, accurate planning."
Strengthening their market position
Allenspach can look back on a lengthy career in the fruit and vegetable sector. He has worked for companies like the Best Fresh Group and Coop and Migors, both Swiss retailers. This experience at both ends of the chain will, he says, only benefit him in his new position. "From experience, we understand retailers' needs. Not only in Switzerland, but also abroad."
"We want to defend our strong market position in the domestic market. And we want to expand it where possible. We also want to strengthen our activities in the Polish, Austrian, and German markets. By joining forces, we hope to address today's food retail issues even better. Particularly reducing plastic, CO2, and food waste," Andreas concludes.
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