The first Brazilian yellow melons arrived at Staay-Hispa in mid-August, followed by the Galia, Cantaloupe and water melons in week 36 and 37. "More was shipped out in week 36, but 'overall' it is expected that the volumes will be in line with those of last year, " says commercial manager Fred Rennen. "The sales are very good, especially for Galia and Cantaloupe melons. The sales of watermelons are slightly more difficult."
"Despite there being a good supply of yellow melons from Spain in August, we played into the demand of a number of customers to start importing yellow melons from Brazil, continues Fred." "At the moment the European supply is a lot lower and the buyers want a new harvest of melons. The quality of the Brazilian melons is good for all varieties."
The importer expects a relatively few shift in the area of variety. "The breeding company continue to do many tests, especially with Galias but it can take a number of years before there varieties are ready for use." Staay-Hispa markets the melons all over Europe under the brands Mossoro, Samba and Brazil. The company is not using the so-called 'cross trade shipping', in which they ship directly to different continents. "The Brazilians know their own way to export markets, but there's no foreseeing the futures," says Fred.
With the integration of Hispa and Van Rijn to the Staay Food Group, the group now has more sales possibilities. "We have adapted our programmes to this. With Van Rijn added to the group, we have gained even more clout, and I have great expectations of this," says the commercial manager.
Due to the good local market, the Brazilian producers can sell more produce in their own country. Yet Fred doesn't see the product availability as a threat in the short term. "Watermelons and yellow melons are available all year round and the Galias and Cantaloupes are mainly available for the European market. Considering the available area it would be easy to produce more. But the labour factor is becoming more difficult to fill in Brazil and we have to deal with higher sea transport and production costs. The product will have to make more money than last year."
Besides Brazilian melons, Staay-Hispa also has a programme with Israeli Galia melons of Edmon from week 38 to 46. "We are also planning for the Costa Rica season at the moment. The preparations for this are in full swing at SFG-Dulce," concludes Fred.