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Peter Davis - Davis Workdwide

"Change to Spanish season a disaster"

UK company Davis Worldwide started up back in 1999 in Lincolnshire, England and also has an office near the fresh produce hub Barendrecht in The Netherlands. The UK office deals mainly in the fruit and vegetable imports from Spain, France, Italy and Morocco, while the Dutch office handles produce from further afield such as South America, New Zealand, South Africa etc.

Peter Davis, owner of the company said that facilities at the Port of Rotterdam were second to none as far the fresh produce business was concerned, "It is faster for us to get the produce from the ship in Rotterdam then truck it over to England, it is also cost effective. We also have a platform in Perpignan where we can split loads and then reload for specific destinations, by consolidating the loads the trucks have less stops making us very fast on deliveries."

90% of Davis's Spanish and French produce is packed on the farms, it can be repacked in Lincolnshire, but as Peter explains they prefer not to do this and keep handling of the produce to an absolute minimum.

Peter said the change over to the Spanish vegetable season has been a bit of a disaster this year, mainly due to the weather, "So much rain fell in Almeria last week and more is forecast, which affects both quality and availability, but Morocco will start in two weeks time which should give a bit of stability to the market. In particular, cucumber has been very expensive, you need to have very deep pockets to fill the contracts at the moment."

One saving grace, according to Peter has been the melon market Spain has just finished and now the Brazilian melons are on the market and getting a good price.

He goes on to say that the European apple season is going to be very challenging due to the huge amounts of fruit on the market, this of course is compounded by the ban on European exports to Russia.

"The supermarket price wars are not helping the situation either, the discounters Aldi and Lidl never had as much impact on the UK market as they did in Germany but that has now changed as they are selling more well known brands and turnover has increased, supermarkets in general are using low cost fresh produce to get customers through the doors, although they will promote the English apple, some still have south African apples on the shelves because they're much cheaper than new season European ones," comments Davis.

He also reckons that much more Moroccan produce will go directly to Russia, thus side stepping the European importers, "The Moroccans will just send to Russia directly, last year our grower sent 10 tonnes of Moroccan salad products to Russia this year he has already sent 40. Spain is also loosing out to Morocco as they improve growing techniques and quality, Spain will also suffer from the very wet weather especially in products such as courgettes. It has been warm and wet, producing very humid conditions which leads to problems with mildew which will mean big problems for the growers."

For more information:
Peter Davis
Davis Worldwide
Tel: 0044 1507 600969
Email: [email protected]