Apples are Belgium's fruit-growing sector's showpiece. You can find them in many stores all over the world. And for two years, the Nuba Group's Omar Elseidy has been exporting them to Egypt, where they are very popular. "The new crop looks fantastic. There's damage, but not as much as, for example, a couple of years ago. That means there's a nice supply of high-quality Belgian apples," says the young entrepreneur.
The company, founded by Omar two years ago, does exports and imports. "My father exports Belgian apples, and in 2020, I decided to go into business for myself, taking over part of his work." For exports, he buys fruit directly from regular growers. "So, we get them a little cheaper, which keeps it interesting for customers in Egypt, Jordan, and Dubai to keep buying Belgian fruit," Omar continues.
"Egypt is a huge market, but the Egyptian pound isn't as strong as the euro. Still, there's great potential for Belgian apples in Egypt." Nuba Group has, therefore, grown in the past two years. "I'm mainly a broker. We buy directly from suppliers, transport the fruit to sorting centers, and then export it to, particularly, the Middle East," he explains.
The company, however, does not only broker export deals. It has direct suppliers in Egypt and Morocco and imports fruit into Belgium. "The new citrus season has begun in those countries. These fruits, which are always popular in the Belgian market, have good quality." Omar's primary focus is on hardier fruit, but he also imports Nigerian avocadoes.
"We work with a regular supplier, and last season, he delivered excellent fruit. We're always looking for new products. We then offer those to our regular clients in Belgium, but I sometimes also go to the early markets. That's the place to go if you want to see if there's interest in a product. You make contact with traders and buyers and immediately see what sells or doesn't sell," he continues.
Looking ahead, Omar still sees plenty of room to grow. "We're always on the lookout for new product groups or markets, but the Nuba Group's still a young company. It's still too risky for us to import products like tomatoes or strawberries. That's definitely something we'd consider in the future. It's always good to remain ambitious," he concludes.
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