in Spain

in Spain



3 kilos per person

in Spain

F&H • Nº 234



Alain Barnoil and Henri Ribes |

President and chairman of Saint Charles International

“Perpignan is done for fruits

and vegetables with strong

ups and downs of price”

THe operaTors oF saiNT CHarles iNTerNaTioNal deFeNd THeir

plaCe iN THe iNTerNaTioNal markeT aNd remiNd THeir impor-

TaNCe beTweeN THe HispaNiC-moroCCaN seNdiNgs.

By Rafael I. Losilla

- special correspondent to Perpignan-

F&H: Does Saint Charles keep on being

the great French platform for the supply

of Spain and Morocco?

A.B: “Saint Charles receives 50 per cent

that Spain is working in France and 85

per cent that Morocco exports to the

French market. We are the reference for

these suppliers”.

F&H: Is most important the work of

Saint Charles for Spain or Morocco?.

A.B: “There are more Spanish companies

than Moroccan ones in Perpignan. Spain

sends to this platform 800,000 tons and

Morocco 400,000 tons. Saint Charles

commercializes products which price

fluctuates like tomatoes or vegetables in

general. The products less fluctuation of

price as the citruses nearly are not commercialized

through Perpignan”.


F&H: What is the strong point of the

Spanish supply and the one of Morocco?

H.R: “Spain is recovering the market

of the strawberry. When it seemed that

Morocco was leading this market an important

change happened. Morocco is

becoming strong in tomatoes and some


F&H: Have the customers of the operators

of Saint Charles International


H.R: “The type of customer has not

changed, simply there are new customers

because Europe becomes bigger and

we go father away. 30-35 per cent of the

products that arrive at Saint Charles are

for re-export”.

F&H: Do the rest of the European operators

attack you?

H.R: No, but it is true that the Dutch are

the first in attacking the market of Perpignan

because is normal that this happens,

since they are commercial strategies

that happen between international


The distribution

F&H: The studies of Interfel indicate

that the chains of supermarkets have

stopped their evolution in the business

of fruits and vegetables. Haven’t they?

A.B: “The supermarkets no longer can

grow more and the future growth of

some chains will be by operations of acquisition

or merger”.

F&H: Have discounts more margin of

growth in France?

A.B: “Two years ago discounts reached a

share of 14 per cent in fruits and vegetables

and they have stopped. The mentality

of Italy, France and Spain is not the

German one”.

F&H • Nº 234


F&H • Nº 234



The “ratio” of

profitability of the Dutch

companies decreases

By Rafael I. Losilla

- Special correspondent to Holland

The European crisis is damaging

the operators of the Old

World and Holland during

2009 had one of the most

complicated campaigns because

the decrease of the profitability

in spite of more than

15 per cent of the companies

increased their volume of


The great groups were also

damaged by this situation

and only the volume of business

of companies like Hagé

International -the importer of

The Greenery- or Frankort &

Koning increased.

The business and the com-

iT is 2 per CeNT oF proFiT. THis is THe average ra-

Tio THaT THe duTCH operaTors oF FruiTs aNd

vegeTables reaCHed duriNg 2009, aCCordiNg To a

reporT oF THe duN&bradsTreeT CoNsulTaNT.

mercial margin of the rest of

the companies decreased or

even stopped because of the

economic crisis. The most

complex case is Hispa Fruit,

a company that ended 2009

with a volume of business of

104 million euros, 21 per cent

less than in 2008 decreasing

its commercial margin 85 per

cent after taxes and its profitability

decreased from 1.4 per

cent in 2008 to 0.2 per cent in

2009, according to the consultant

Dun & Bradstreet.

Because of the damages in the

production last years the policy

of confidence of this company

has turn towards Spain,

with the incorporation of the

executive Henk de Widt -before

in Solfruit- to change his

portfolio of suppliers towards

the interests of Solfruit. “We

are recovering our importance

in Spain and the Spanish suppliers

work normally with

Solfruit”, de Widt explains.

In addition to Hispa Fruit, the

commercial and business volume

of Van der Staay company

stopped about 20 million

boxes, 10 per cent more than

in 2005. The bet of this company

on the manufacturing

products has been restrained

by the crisis of consumption

of the fresh cut in Holland

and United Kingdom.


Some companies have opted

for the diversification of their

interests to gain business and

market. It is the case of Best

Fresh Group. This group is

made up of 10 companies,

although Valstar is more than

75 per cent of the invoicing

of the company and is the apple

of the eyes of Best Fresh


The company has bet on the

berry, the organic product,

the specialties for the Horeca

channel and the products

coming from China but in

spite of all this diversification

2009 was a complex year for

Valstar. The company, with

a volume of business nearly

to 140 million euros during

2009, closed with a profit of

24,000 euros, “without a profitability

margin” as the figures

of Dun & Bradstreet show.

Hispa Fruit is one of the companies of “Top 20” which volume of business has decreased most in 2009.

F&H • Nº 234


F&H • Nº 234



Frankort & Koning has increased surpassing 20 per cent

Frankort & Koning is another

one of the companies of quick

development that enters in

the 15 per cent of the companies

that increased their volume

of commerce and business.

In fact, in the opinion

of their manager Leon van der

Hombergh “we are the group

that has increased most in Europe”.

The key of this growth is the

ambition of the commercial

team “with managers with a

huge experience in the European

supermarkets”, Hombergh

affirms. The objectives of

the company are focused towards

the export and, for this

reason, they have commercial

offices in Poland, United

Kingdom and Germany, in

addition to a branch in the

West of Holland, specialized

in exotic products.

Germany is the destination

Aartsenfruit extends its facilities in Venlo for

the exotic products

Aartsenfruit will extend its facilities

in Venlo to be able to supply the

wholesalers of the exotic products

customers. The traditional retailers

are the basis of the customers of

Aaartsenfruit which is a company

“that does not work with the chains

of supermarkets and its activity is

centred in the peddlers, fruit shops,

groceries or the small chains of supermarkets

of the Benelux”, Filipe

da Silva, department of import-export

of the company, explains.

The company commercialized

180,000 tons of fruits and vegetables

from 35 different countries in

2009 and with a invoicing of 140

of reference with 30 per cent

of the volume of business.

The quick development of

the company in Europe has

got an invoicing of 250 million

euros and a growth of 30

per cent in the last years. The

company wants to continue

growing and bets on extending

relations with suppliers

of Spain, Brazil and South


million euros. The tendency is to

increase, since in 2007 the invoicing

was 135 million euros and a

volume of products of 170,000


The company has four local offices:

three in Holland –Breda (the head

office), Twente and Venlo- and one

in Belgium - St. Katelijne –Waver -.

From these offices they give service

to the customers of Belgium, Holland

and Germany. The company

has an ample portfolio of wholesalers

for the traditional retailers

depending on the products, although

Holland and Spain are the

reference suppliers.

Hage International returns to its figures

of before year 2007

The importer of The Greenery

-Hage International- returns

to its figures of before year

2007, when 50 professionals

left the project and among

them the members of the

board Leon van der Heuvel

and Pieter de Jong- and now

managers of Hillfresh, leaving

to the company in a delicate

situation and with 20 suppliers

changing of company and

leaving the Hage project.

The company closed the campaign

with a invoicing of 225

million euros and with an

important strategic change

focusing its final operations

in the United Kingdom and

the chains of Dutch supermarkets.

Its portfolio of suppliers and

customers has changed “because

of need and obligation”,

Rion affirms. In these

changes it is important to

standing out that Hage is focused

on the customers of the

chains of the Benelux.

Hage keeps on focusing all

its work in the import where

Spain is the first supplier of

the company with more than

35 per cent of the volume.

After Spain, there are the

products of South America

like grapes, apples or citruses

and, later, the African supply

standing out the citruses and

the stone fruit of South Africa

and the range of vegetables of

Egypt, Morocco and Senegal.


Zoutewelle has a portfolio of 350

weekly customers

Next September marks 50

years of Zoutewelle company.

At the beginning they were

linked to the horticulture but

now they are in expansive

phase in which they have extend

its product portfolio and

the origins.

At the present day in addition

to the vegetables, main

products of the company,

they have also grape, stone

fruit and “citruses like last in-

corporation”, Jack Bezemer of

the department of purchases

of the company affirms.

The increase of the portfolio

is because the improvement

of the situation of the company

in the East of Europe to

compete with guarantees.

The company closed last year

with a invoicing of 85 million

euros, seven per cent more

than in 2009.

The opening to the East

of Europe is thanks to the

wholesalers which forces the

company to have more flexibility

and quick commercial

answer. “Only five customers

are supermarkets and they do

not reach more than 10 per

cent of our business”, Bezemer


The bet of Zoutewelle on the

East causes that Russia is the

most important destination

of the international operations

of the company with 10

per cent of the operations. The

company has also opened the

market of Scandinavia.

F&H • Nº 234


F&H • Nº 234



The portfolio of suppliers of Lehmann & Troost

keeps on increasing

Lehmann & Troost is preparing

new initiatives to

increase its portfolio of

suppliers. Two years ago

the company started actions

to increase its figure

of producers and this strategy

has caused a quick development

in Spain. “The

changes of the market are

rapid and our portfolio

of customers is agile reason

why we needed more

product or more suppliers”,

Abraham Troost,

manager of Lehmann &

Troost, explains.

The company is specialized

in “commodity”

products of quick changes

and oscillations that immediate

responses facing

the customers””, Troost

affirms. Although the

portfolio of products of

the company is big the

lines of pepper, tomato,

lettuce and aubergine are

the most important products

of their operations.

One of strong points of

Lehmann & Troost is the

diversity of portfolio in

the chains and traditional

commerce and wholesalers

which means “to give

better answer to the supplier

when the market is

getting difficult”, Troost

affirms. The wholesale

and traditional commerce

are 50 per cent of the commercial


In addition to the European

suppliers, where

Spain is the reference for

the company, the contacts

with producers of South

America have been multiplied.

ZON marks their line of action with Unica

Hillfresh is the operator of quick development of Holland

Hillfresh is the operator of

quickest growth of volume of

business of Holland. It closed

the first year with a volume of

business of eight million euros

-Source: Freshplaza- and

at the present day they have a

turnover of 98 million euros.

Its strategy is to supply to the

supermarkets the products

that they haven’t in the point

of view of a specialist. The

portfolio of the company is

centred in melon, grape, kiwi

(Zespri), overseas citruses and

peppers and tomatoes, “products

that we think that can

have a good development in

the market and in our company”,

Pieter de Jong, manager

of Hillfresh, affirms.

The company works only

pepper of the Israeli producer

Okra, and they have an agreement

to commercialize 100

per cent of the supply in Europe.

Hillfresh commercialized

9,500 tons in 2010 and

The presence of the Dutch ZON in

Spain is guaranteed. Its first campaign

working with Spanish suppliers

is acceptable and will keep

its “bet and commitment with the

Spanish production”, from the

company affirm. One year ago, the

company opened its doors towards

the import thanks to the introduction

in Spain and “it has allowed us

to advance in new customers and

new supermarkets that now are interested

in ZON, since we can work

with Spain and have product during

12 months a year. It is “seriousness

subject to have Spanish partners for

the Dutch and European chains”,

Ton Bouw, person in charge of purchases

of the group affirms.

The company has one branch in

Spain, managed by the professional

Ger Kingma, who allows having

expects to reach 11,000 tons

in 2011.

The growth of Hillfresh is

shown in its new facilities

of 11,000 square meters in

Barendrecht with a capacity

for 7,000 pallets and with

20 refrigerator chambers according

to the needs of each

product and “with protocols

to control the quality including

special specifications for

the important customers”, de

Jong explains.

immediate information about the

situation of the suppliers and the

market. In addition Kingma not

only fulfil a control work on the

sending, since he will also develop

a commercial work with future

Spanish customers in the months

of summer.

The relation of ZON with the product

import has made easier to open

the doors to suppliers of Italy and

Israel to complement the lacks of

Spain. “Our customers demand

products that Spain does not have,

and Italy and Israel have. It is not

possible to depend on one single

supplier although there are conflicts

between suppliers”, Bouw

explains. In fact, the company has

multiplied its relations with Israel

in the pepper portfolio.

This is the way

Coop is working

THe swiss CHaiN oF Coop supermarkeTs

is a reFereNCe iN iTs CouNTry iN

THe sale oF FruiTs aNd vegeTables,

wiTH a iNvoiCiNg oF more THaN 1,500

millioN euros iN 2010 THaNks To more

THaN 800 sTores. iN addiTioN, iT is THe

leader iN THe sale oF orgaNiC produCT

THaT CommerCializes wiTH iTs

Four braNds.

Speaking about the retailers,

in the fruits and vegetables

market in the country of the

Alps, is to speak about Coop.

In fact, the chain has 816

stores of different types and

surfaces, to adapt itself to the

particular needs of the demanding

Swiss consumer.

From its establishment at the

end of the XIX century (they

are families and not legal people

like the traditional cooperatives,

where the members

The French are

bored of the pear

The French producers are forgetting

the pear. It is the main

conclusion of the figures of

Interfel in which the production

decreases 10 per cent in

2010 respecting to the average

of the three last campaigns

and 14 per cent respecting to


The Guyot variety is the most

stable of the pears keeping

its volume of production in

the last three campaigns in

55,000 tons. This variety and

the Conference one are the

most stable in volume and


It does not happen the same

with the rest of varieties. The

production and surface of

Dulce Doncella and Pasacrasana

have decrease so much.

The French Southeastern

controlled 69 per cent of the

French production reaching

164,100 tons.

are physical or legal people)

Coop has not stopped to grow

in stores and invoicing. In fact,

from 2007, it is working the

network of supermarkets that

Carrefour worded with before

in Switzerland and recently






it has bought TransGourmet

which is a company specialized

in the agro-alimentary

product provision and other

products related to the Horeca


VarIETIES OF PEar IN FraNCE (2010)

source: interfel. (Tns).


12.000 6.000



Dulce Doncella



F&H • Nº 234


F&H • Nº 234



The consumption

of kiwi in Spain keeps stable

THe CoNsumpTioN oF kiwi iN spaiN kepT sTable iN 2009. iTs CoNsumpTioN

per CapiTa iNCreased a liTTle biT more THaN THree kilograms

by persoN wiTH a priCe average oF 2.24 euros. THe Tradi-

TioNal sHops are THe poiNT oF purCHase seleCTed by THe spaNisH

CoNsumers wiTH a sHare oF markeT oF 41 per CeNT.

By Daniel Lafuente Torregrosa

Both consumption and production

of fruits in Spain are

important points from the

economic and social point of


In this situation in the Old

World the demand of kiwi is

important. In fact, Spain starts

to distant itself in the demand

of kiwi by inhabitant.

The Spaniards consume an

2,98 3,04 3,19




0,34 0,31 0,33 0,31

January February March Abril

average of 3.17 kilograms per

capita of kiwi, a little bit more

than the year 2008, in which

the consumption of this fruit

was 2.92 kilograms, only 270

grams of difference. The average

of the last three years is

3.05 kilos per capita.

In 2009, the consumption

of this fruit by person was

around 7.08 euros and this

figure is a little bit lesser than

the year 2008 in which the





(kilos/per cápita) source: marm





(kilos/per cápita). source: marm.







cost per capita of each Spaniard

was 7.54 euros.

Kiwi, like the rest of fruits, is

consumed preferably at home

and thus 91.4 per cent of the

Spaniards in this way whereas

the institutions have a consumption

of 4.9 per cent and

the Horeca centres only demand

3.6 per cent.

One of the historical characteristics

of the Spanish consumer

is the acquisition of


Street markets and groceries


Big Supermarket





the fruits and vegetables in

specialized stores. The traditional

stores are more than 41

per cent of the share of market,

although supermarkets

are 32 per cent and increasing

thanks to the approach of the

commercial companies to the

chains. The supermarkets control

14 per cent and the street

markets and groceries 13 per

cent. The discount stores are

not having success.

Traditional store




( %). source: marm.

0,26 0,28 0,29

August September October November December

The North of Spain

is out of broccoli

Navarra aNd la rioja are losiNg surFaCe oF broC-

Coli gradually. aT THe preseNT day THey reaCH

4,300 HeCTares, 20 per CeNT less THaN iN 2007.

By René Rombouts

Broccoli is moving away of

the cold of the North of Spain

and is loosing hectares from

the year 2007. The surface in

the regions of La Rioja and

Navarra has decreased almost

20 per cent and will keep on

decreasing according to the

agrarian associations.

Navarra and La Rioja had become

a good complement of

the production of the Spanish

Southeast during the months

of summer and companies

like the Cooperativa de San

Blas de la Ribaforada (Nav-

Tesco has lost the

leadership in Ireland

arra) took advantage of this

situation exporting to the

United Kingdom from June

to October and reaching volumes

of 8,000 tons of fresh

and manufactured product.

But the discovery of Albacete

like a region of a propitious

production for broccoli in

THe groups superquiNN aNd duNNes sTores surpass To

TesCo iN THe sales oF FruiTs aNd vegeTables iN irelaNd.

THe bad relaTioNs oF TesCo wiTH THe irisH produCers,

THe “briTisH look” iN irelaNd aNd THe laCk oF reaCTioN

iN THe Crisis are THe maiN Causes.

The Tesco chain no longer

leads the distribution of

fruits and vegetables in Ireland

according to a report of

the Ofcomes of Spain in Ireland

being in the third position,

behind Superquinn and

Dunnes Stores.

The chain closed the year

2008 with a share of market

of 24 per cent and has lost

two points in favour of the

chains mentioned before. The

fall of Tesco is caused by political,

economic and strategic


The continuous fights between

the Irish producers and

Tesco for the prices in the British

supermarkets have made

of this English chain to lose


The economic crisis that Ireland

is undergoing as much

as Superquinn and Dunnes

Stores has made easy the ac-

cessible prices to the Irish customer,

in front of Tesco that

has opted to keep the commercial

margins in the stands

of fruits and vegetables over

30 per cent on the cost of the


Superquinn and Dunnes

Stores are now the stores that

are fighting to win the market.

The advantage of Dunnes

Stores is to have more than

100 stores in Ireland oposite


the months of summer has

caused that the producers

and exporters of Murcia have

watched towards Castilla-La

Mancha to satisfy their needs

and “have forgotten” the option

of Navarra-La Rioja.

to Superquinn that does not

have an important structure.

Another chain that has grown

with the crisis is Lidl discount

that has reached a level of

market of 17 per cent of vegetables

and 15 per cent of fruits,

thanks to open the stores. In

2005 the chain discount had

10 stores and in 2009 they

have almost 50 stores and increasing.

F&H • Nº 234


F&H • Nº 234



The sales of Nature Choice in the Nordic

Countries are increasing considerably

The Scandinavian Countries

are important for the company

of Almería Nature Choice.

In fact, in the last five years its

volume of invoicing has increased

thanks to the strategic

position of this destination.

In particular, the sendings to

this place in the campaign

2009/2010 meant more than

30 per cent of the total of their

fruits and vegetables sendings,

19 per cent more if it is

compared with the sendings

of the campaign 2004/05.

However, it is not the only

destination that increases in

volume because the stands of

the supermarkets of Germany

are demanding products,

Prim Land has closed the

campaign with 31 million euros

The French company Prim

Land has closed the year 2010

with a volume of business

of 31 million euros of which

61 per cent is the business of

kiwi. The company reached a

commercialization of 13,000

tons and the forecasts are to

reach after the following campaign

13,000 tons of Hayward

kiwi of France, 2,000 tons of

Hayward of Chile and 2,000

tons of Summerkiwi.

Kiwi is the strong point of

Prim Land that is commercialized

with the Oscar brand.

In addition to kiwi, that commercializes

more of 50 per

cent in France, it has 2,200

tons of apples, 800 tons of

asparagus and 7,000 tons of

supplied from 250 producers

of fruit trees and 100 producer

of vegetables just when it is

the 30 years of the company

and they started with 69 suppliers.

France is the market of reference

of the company with 51

per cent of its operations. In

the last years, the company

has initiated operations with

the international market, diversifying

its sendings and at

the present day in addition to

Europe, it exports 12 per cent

of its volume to Asia and the

Australian Continent and 2

per cent to the American market.





from 9 per cent in the campaign

2004/05 to nearly 20

per cent in the last year.

The markets of the East of

Europe, France and Spain are

also increasing. Nevertheless,

on the other side is the loss

of confidence in markets of

the importance of the United

Kingdom, when it was before

one of the destinations

of reference of the company,

or even the markets of Russia

and North America, where

they have stopped working in.

These two last customers five

years ago were 6 per cent of

the volume exported by this



FOr CaTEGOrIES (2009)

(000 euros).

source: prim land.


Carrots Sweet corn Asparragus



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