Meeting the increasing demand for high-quality fruit exotics from around the world twelve months a year is the overarching goal of the newly founded company Atlantic Fruit GmbH, based in Hamburg. We spoke with Julio Pérez about the genesis of the young company, their visions and the future of the exotics business.
Atlantic Fruit GmbH's main products include limes, coconuts, sweet potatoes and passion fruit. These products are sourced from various countries, including India, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Honduras, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, South Africa, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, describes Pérez, who studied at both Zamorano University in Honduras and Kuehne Logistics University in Hamburg.
"My path in the fruit industry was comprehensive and hands-on. On the ground in Honduras, I was directly involved in the production, packaging and export process of melons, watermelons, okra and sweet potatoes. In addition, in my previous job as procurement and sales manager for exotics, I was intensively involved with the North American market as well as the European and British markets."
Thriving exotics business
To ensure a constant, year-round supply of high-quality exotics, the young trading company relies on both sea and air freight. Perez says, "In line with the huge increase in demand in European markets, we currently see great potential in passion fruit, especially from Colombia and Vietnam. At the moment, we are primarily focused on Europe and we mainly serve wholesale and retail customers as well as the food service industry in Germany, the Netherlands and neighboring countries. However, we are looking to expand our presence within and outside Europe, especially as new growth opportunities and markets continue to emerge in the fruit industry."
Atlantic Fruit GmbH maintains a close partnership with ElbeFruit, the company of its business partner Edgar Günther. "Among other things, we exchange resources as well as practical and industry knowledge in order to continuously optimize our processes. Synergy effects to date are particularly evident in logistics, where we can use our joint network to optimize transport and ensure on-time deliveries. In addition, thanks to our cooperation, we can offer our customers an expanded product portfolio and thus meet the needs of our customers better and more efficiently," explains Pérez.
Differentiating the product range
For the next five years, management's first goal is to gradually differentiate the product range, expand the customer base and increase the geographic reach, Perez Vazquez continues. "By June 2030, we are aiming for a significant growth spurt, but by then we also want to be committed to fair and sustainable trade processes at the same time. It is particularly important to us to be recognized as a reliable partner that not only offers innovative solutions, but also pays attention to other values and puts them into practice accordingly."
In this context, the two-member management team of the young company also points to the increasing relevance of sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging in the industry. "'On the part of the consumer, we see an increased focus on environmentally friendly products. But it is also important to optimize and streamline logistics and supply chains by ensuring better traceability of our products and reducing waste along the chain. Our job is to be flexible in responding to these current trends and to constantly look for ways to innovate and improve our services," concludes Perez.