Ira Gonen, Bless S.R. Ltd:

“Freight costs change weekly, so fresh herb prices from Israel to customers have to change”

The weekly changes in airfreight costs make it challenging for Israel-based exporter Bless S.R. Ltd to offer stable prices of fresh herbs to clients in Eastern Europe and Asia. The unpredictable freight costs due to the Russian war in Ukraine also influence the edible flowers they export to Asia.

The Bless Team showing some of the herbs and edible flowers.

According to Ira Gonen, sales manager at Bless S.R. Ltd, she has to contact their major clients weekly to adjust prices due to the ever-changing freight costs. “Prices fluctuate a lot because of the war. Freight costs change every week. I have to contact my clients weekly and let them know if the prices have changed or not. Depending on freight costs, I must increase the prices accordingly.”

Bless S.R. Ltd exports fresh herbs all year round. This includes basil, rocket, thyme, rosemary, sage, lemon, mint, parsley, and dill. “These herbs are sent to Eastern Europe, which includes the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Hungary. European countries that receive the herbs include Portugal and Italy. We send around 1 ton to each country in Eastern Europe. We also have the product Salicornia, which we sell to the Japan and Netherlands markets. This product can be used with seafood. We can also offer our clients a big range of exotic fruit,” states Gonen.

The company has a warehouse facility at the Ben-Gurion International Airport, in Tel Aviv, from where they can easily airfreight the fresh herbs and exotic fruit to the different markets. “This allows us better control of the incoming and outgoing produce and gives us the flexibility in customer requests for air shipments at different times,” says Gonen.

“In Eastern Europe, we have big clients who have a standard weekly order. Our main market is Russia, which takes 10 tons per week. Our exports there are fine for now. Our other markets in Asia include Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, which each receives around one ton weekly. These are our long-time clients of five years or more,” says Gonen.

She says the demand for fresh herbs in the rest of Europe switches to the local product during spring and summer, especially around June. “It depends on the weather they have in Europe. It can take one more month or be a month earlier when they contact us for products.”

“Edible flowers are a very specific product we offer. We send a lot to the Asian markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore as well as Russia. We do not have a market for this in Europe,” says Gonen.

For more information:
Ira Gonen
Bless S.R. Ltd
Tel: +972 3 551 1514

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