It has been nearly two years that HillFresh started working with Brazilian REI-melon producer Itaueira. Today both partners will intensify their cooperation by signing a contract that will make HillFresh exclusive partner for the Northern European market. Besides this HillFresh will also focus on the Spanish and Portuguese market while Itaueira no longer has an exclusive distributor in these countries.
“The HillFresh melon category approach with their unique promotions and their tailor-made assortment proposals have made Itaueira confident that this next step in our partnership is the right one” says Adriana Prado from Itaureira. “HillFresh brings the source closer to the retailer resulting in an ideal cooperation between all partners in the chain. But this is only one of the many reasons we have selected HillFresh to be our partner for Rei melons in the European market” she completes.
“The REI melons have proven to be a successful addition to the HillFresh melon program” according to Geerten van Luttikhuizen, responsible for overseas import of melons for HillFresh International. “The extra attention given to the melons during the harvesting process results in a better tasting melon that can compete with even the best yellow melons from the European market. Itaueira keeps their melons on the plant for a longer period of time and only harvest them when they are fully ripe. This causes the fruits to have a higher brix level, and they therefore have a sweeter flavour. The brix level is always at least 12, but can reach 15 or even more. The fruit is really delicious and this is not only a matter of the extra sugar. You really have to try it.”
The melons are packed into a distinctive mesh, which completes the melon’s premium presentation as well as the product. The fruit has an unprecedented shelf life. Itaueira grows melons in Brazil all year round and only sells their own production. Rei melons are GlobalGAP and RainForest Alliance certified and each fruit has a traceability code to reassure quality and safety. For this melon we have noticed a large demand within European retail, and customers who have bought the melon, irrevocably return for our Ready-to-Eat melon” the importer says.