The beginning of the strawberry season has been very positive for the Egyptian producers. Although it was thought the pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it would have a negative effect on the season, it appears demand has increased instead. The Greek strawberries were seen as the main competition, but after meeting the expectations of the importers' needs, one Egyptian exporter claims they’ve managed to pull ahead.
It was expected that the strawberry season would be challenging, with the pandemic in mind. However, according to Emy Mohamed, export specialist for Egyptian fresh produce exporter Green Tiba, they had a very strong start to the season: “Strawberry season usually starts in early November and runs until end of March. This season is actually going much better than what we expected initially. We thought that as a result of the prevailing pandemic and the partial lockdowns in many countries, we would face a lot of issues with supply and demand. However we were surprised with the heavy demand and the huge pre-ordered volumes that empowered us to be the first Egyptian strawberry brand in several markets such as the Russian market.”
Mohamed states they’ve had to increase production to make sure they could meet the high demand. “To keep up with the increased demand for Egyptian strawberry in the Far East, Europe and Asia, Green Tiba has increased its production as well. Compared to the last season, we experience an intensive increase in our strawberry export volumes. This promising beginning of the season clarifies the possibilities for the upcoming period. Calibers are getting better day by day and quality is constantly improving to meet the global quality standards. Producing different strawberries varieties, such as the Sensation at the beginning of the season then the Fartuna reaching to the Festival, which is running, currently enabled us to occupy a wide market scale.”
According to Mohamed it’s been very fortunate that the main markets of Green Tiba all have seen this increase in demand. “Among several markets all over the world, the Russian, Malaysian, Singapore, British and German markets have seen a significant increase in demand. Several shipments have been delivered to the mentioned markets since season started, and the strong fruitful cooperation still makes these the most important markets for us.” she explains.
Other strawberry producing countries do not worry Mohamed as much, as Morocco focuses on different markets, and they managed to beat the prices the Greeks were asking for their produce: “The Egyptian strawberry is a very strong and superior competitor among different strawberry producers. Also the markets that we focus on are not the targeted markets for Morocco, for instance. Talking about competition, the Greek producers were considered a competitor at the beginning of the season, but as a result of the good understanding of the market needs, professional logistical coordination and providing premium quality, Green Tiba managed to pull ahead of the competition.” she concludes.