The Spanish citrus company Exforpe is making clear choices in marketing, distributing its citrus entirely through the wholesale channel. To this end, it owns outlets in the wholesale markets of Madrid and Barcelona, but also supplies wholesalers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France under its own brands Escriggroumet, La Sofia and Marie José.

The company has the rule of serving only one customer per city. "We prefer having a lot of customers buying a few pallets; that way we spread the risks and meet our customers’ specific needs with top quality citrus. Outside Europe, the focus is on exports to the Far East and Canada," explains José Peiro. He also sees growth opportunities in Asia and wants to play a more significant role in the Nordic market, where the company has already started exporting to Sweden.

The company's focus is on oranges and mandarins, but it also supplies kakis and Paraguayo peaches under its own label. Moreover, it also supplies melons in the summer months. Last year, the company introduced a new line for clementines (with or without leaves) at its packing station in Faura (6200 m2). "Our annual production amounts to about 25 million kilos, enough to prepare some 200,000 kilos of oranges and clementines for our customers," affirms José.

To be able to supply these wholesalers all year round, the company also imports oranges from South Africa in September, and in the past it was a major player in the field of Israeli Orri mandarins, a variety that is also gaining ground in Spain. "Currently, we are very satisfied with the quality and taste of the citrus. Due to the warm weather and lack of cold nights, the colouring and sizes at the start of the season have been a bit disappointing, but now that it’s becoming cooler, such problems are no longer an issue and consumption is increasing in northern Europe . The Spanish product is fresh and consumers now only want Spanish fruit," notes José with satisfaction.

A trend in Spain is that many growers are focusing on either the early or late season to escape the pressure in mid-season. There are also many growers switching to other fruits to obtain better returns. "Elsewhere in Valencia, many producers have switched to growing kakis, and in our area, the cultivation of avocados has grown substantially," explains José. He does not expect this to really have an impact on the citrus market. "In Spain, there should always be enough citrus."

Lastly, he assures to have good expectations for the future of the company. "The consumption of, for example, clementines, continues to rise. We are a real clementine specialist and pursue, as much as possible, to supply the market with a flat clementine, because it has an excellent presentation. It sounds simple, but otherwise it's just important to do your very best every day in order not to disappoint your customers. We are ready for the future!"

For more information:
Joan Peiro
Exforpe, S.L.
46512 Faura (Valencia)
Tel: +34 683 160 587