Fresh herb buyers turn to Israel after lower supplies from Italy and Spain due to weather

The Israeli fresh herbs and edible flowers exporter Bless S.R. are caught between a rock and a hard place. As some harsh winter weather led to shortages from Italy and Spain sees European buyers turn to them in Israel, they are not able to meet the supply due to more expensive production in this Middle Eastern country says Ira Gonen, sales manager at Bless.

“Everyone wants produce from Israel, but our prices are high. They have a problem with Italian produce, due to the very cold weather this year. Some buyers told us in Berlin that they had a gap of about 2-3 weeks from Italy, but unfortunately the reality is prices from Israel are very high. Despite the demand from Europe for fresh herbs, it is very difficult to supply because it depends on logistics and flights and exchange rates. Europe is not such a big market for our fresh herbs. I have some clients in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. Almost all our clients are from East Europe, they come and take truck loads from what we airfreight to the Netherlands via direct flights from Israel. It’s a very difficult period for everyone in the world. Prices are high, the exchange rates are very high for the Euro and dollar. Everybody’s just trying to survive,” explains Gonen.

She says the higher prices from Israel are because producers have higher input costs. “This causes buyers in Europe to instead receive supplies from Morocco and Kenya who are cheaper than Israel. While we’re not so competitive, but we see how we can provide value.”

Bless S.R. Ltd exports fresh herbs all year round. This includes dill, lemon, mint, sage, basil, rocket, thyme, rosemary and parsley. They have a warehouse facility at the Ben-Gurion International Airport, in Tel Aviv, from where they can easily airfreight the fresh herbs, exotic fruit and edible flowers to the different world markets.

Bless S.R. has Russia as their main export market, but with the war in Ukraine it has become very difficult for them. “Russia is our main market for herbs, with stable weekly orders. We also obtain supply from Africa to send to Russia. The fresh herbs market is stable at the moment. Sales are not high nor low. We have the same orders, especially for Singapore who are our big clients of this produce. Every week we send pallets of half fresh herbs and half fresh flowers. Depending on the quantity we send around 20-30 boxes per client. They are our biggest clients in the Asia market,” states Gonen.

For more information:
Ira Gonen
Bless S.R. Ltd
Tel: +972 3 551 1514

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