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Thomas Besnard, ABCD de l'Exotique: A tough spot market for bananas

"We're seeing greater commitment from supermarkets via private labels"

"We have just obtained our "IFS Broker Trading of Fresh Bananas" certification for the second year running, with a better result than the previous one", reports Thomas Besnard, President of ABCD de l'Exotique, a company specialized in importing and exporting exotic fruits, and a certified Cavendish banana trader. This certification is a guarantee to supermarkets and consumers backed by strict food safety standards, from the farm to the supermarket shelf. "We share common values, beliefs, and standards among professionals, which impact the state of mind and behavior regarding food safety within our structure while guaranteeing real product traceability for the consumer".

At Rungis last Tuesday: a celebration of Tahitian islands and ethnic cultures organized by David Besnard, Sales Director @ ABCD DE L'EXOTIQUE for his loyal customers and market players. The aim was to highlight the traditional and authentic spirit that shapes the culinary heritage and production of roots, tubers, and plantains.

A booming retail market until June
The industrial sector has seen a stronger commitment to supermarkets, notably through private label products: "Over 90% of banana imports feed into supermarkets' annual programs, with products that are more evenly priced throughout the year (on the SPOT market, prices vary each week). Bananas remain one of the most attractive products for household budgets, which have been heavily impacted by inflation. The entry-level products offered by private labels - bananas bearing the first-price stamp (P14, Budget, private labels, etc.) - appeal to consumers and have done very well this year, despite competition from stone fruits which came earlier in the season".

David Besnard, Alain Doval (former head of ABCD de l'Exotique), Stéphane Layani and Thomas Besnard.

Sales penalized by lower MIN frequency
The wholesale market has suffered greatly this year: "We're subject to many ups and downs at Rungis. The farmers' protests disrupted European logistics, causing delays that affected sales. Heavy rains and dense road traffic impacted market traffic (closure of roads around the MIN). However, the Rungis MIN is a market largely dependent on visitors "transiting through the halls". Competition on the floor is very strong. With lower traffic levels, sales are directly impacted and merchandise rotations are slowed down. Since May, goods outflows have been lower due to this lack of traffic (school vacations, bank holidays, long weekends, and religious holidays). Despite this, July and August are expected to be particularly strong thanks to the Olympic Games. The influx of fans generated by the Paris Olympics should benefit consumption".

A challenging business for multiple reasons
Despite a decline in footfall at the MIN in recent weeks, ABCD de l'Exotique's results at this time of year are on par with the previous year's figures at the same time. However, this positive outlook is mitigated by several factors: "We are concerned about rising costs: fixed charges, electricity, rent, etc. all have a direct impact on our business. We are also facing major production problems, such as the floods that submerged certain production areas in Colombia at the end of May, unfavorable exchange rates between the peso and the US dollar in Costa Rica, and weather conditions that are disrupting harvest forecasts, with the sudden return of El Niño to La Niña disrupting field fertilization programs".

Another challenge is the logistical problems that have particularly impacted products from Ecuador: "The Ecuadorian price is the benchmark for banana trading markets. Since the beginning of the year, shipping companies have been directly affected by the ups and downs of the Panama Canal: the sharp drop in the water level required for ships to pass through has forced them to reduce container loads, resulting in unforeseen logistics delays. Despite the difficult context, we are doing everything to achieve a winning strategy in the SPOT market.

For more information:
Thomas Besnard
ABCD de l'éxotique
Tel.: + 33 1 46 87 21 32
Cell.: + 33 6 86 14 82 60
[email protected]

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