In an interview with the Commercial Director of Grupo LC, Lorenzo Carrasco Rodríguez, he shared some important news about the fruit and vegetable distribution sector.
Based in Barcelona, Madrid and Almeria, Grupo LC is devoted to the selling of fresh fruit and vegetables, both nationally produced and imported, distributing them in Spain as well as in various export markets, in every format. The group moves around 74,000 tonnes per year, of which 55% corresponds to fruit and 45% to vegetables, and has an annual income of 66 million Euro.
Low tomato prices cause concern
Almeria's 2012/2013 horticultural campaign was marked by alterations in the production calendar and drops in production volumes due to the weather.
While it is true that the season's prospects are still not clear, there is great concern in the horticultural trading sector, which can have an impact not only on the beginning, but also on the development of the new campaign. In the case of tomatoes, whose prices "all Summer have hit rock bottom, both traders and growers are worried," explains Lorenzo.
"Since many Dutch growers chose to switch to tomatoes, leading to the current oversupply which has made prices drop at an alarming rate," he says.
"Such prices had never been seen over such a long period of time; our domestic campaign will be strongly marked by them. The situation of oversupply is so serious because the market is unable to absorb the entire production."
Drop of consumption in Spain continues boosting exports
Spain has suffered changes over the past few years due to the drop in domestic consumption, and has been forced to seek new horizons and goals which have led to the growth of exports. "Although in our case," points out Lorenzo, "it does not mean that we are going to abandon the domestic market."
One of the greatest challenges for distributors in Spain lies in supermarket chains, key in the success of fresh products within the current socio-economic context, in which customers tend to choose low prices over quality.
"Over the past few years, we have built a stronger relationship with national supermarket chains, introducing a wider product diversification. Within the current context, it is difficult to develop strategies to attract customers, and more focus tends to be placed on prices, rather than quality. There is a great lack of ideas when it comes to promoting the most essential aspect of all: quality."
As for export destinations, "although Russia has become fashionable, France, Italy, Germany or Eastern Europe are usually more active and give us more continuity," explains Lorenzo Carrasco.
Grupo LC's import campaign has been very good for us this year, especially with apples and pears, our most important products. "We have specialized in both European and overseas lands of origin, especially Chile."
Grupo LC returns this year to Fruit Attraction with new projects
"Although we did not attend last year, we were one of the first companies to put our trust on this fair. This year we will again have a stand where we plan to display the products we usually work with and to present our new exclusive selling projects which we have acquired over the past year and which will pay off this coming Autumn campaign."