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Important growth for the CMR Group

Fruit Today euromagazine had the chance to talk to Jordi Martí, national sales manager of CMR, one of the companies with the longest history and largest scope in the national fruit and vegetable growing sector.

Where is CMR at the moment?

We are a highly dynamic company and we are always open to new possibilities. CMR has maintained a sustained growth, both in Barcelona and in Madrid, ranging between 15 and 20% annually in recent years. I think things are pretty good at the moment for the sector in general, and our company in particular.

Is this growth general or does it apply more to specific produce?

It is generalised throughout the entire company, but it is true that there has been a very considerable increase in bananas and plantains since 2008, the year when we took over the company Valentín Pastor. We made some important investments in ripening rooms and today we have reached an average of around 30 containers of plantains and 15 of Canary Island bananas. And this is a project that we will continue to promote.

On the other hand, Cosarica, our melon brand is a true referent. Currently, we are one of the main producers of piel de sapo melons through our production associate CMR BRASIL, with 1,300 hectares of crop land. We grow yellow melons and watermelons there, and we have reached 15 million kilos of piel de sapo production, which allows us to supply high quality produce, non-stop from October to May and where we control the entire chain of value until we reach our customers.

Berries are another produce range with a highly positive behaviour, which we maintain 52 weeks a year, both nationally-grown and imported from international sources. Our offer is very well-rounded, in produce, varieties and sources, with particular emphasis on blueberries, with which we reach 20,000 kilos marketed during the summer season.

Historically, you have been one of the most important fruit importers from this country, where has this activity reached?

Our imported volumes continue growing year after year. We have a very active department that continues to promote this area, which is continually opening up new sources and preserving and promoting the most important ones. We keep in touch with shippers from the 5 continents on a daily basis, which allows us to have a very wide range of produce throughout the entire year.

By the way, what can you tell us about the offices you have in Holland?

We process sales to Central, Northern and Eastern Europe from this office, particularly out-of-season fruit from South America and Africa. Recently, we have renewed and promoted the sales team from this unit, managed from the head office in Barcelona.

With the high number of stands you have in both Mercabarna and in Madrid, can you give me your diagnosis regarding corridor sales?

Traditional sales techniques are very healthy thanks to new foreign operators coming onto the scene, who are absorbing the neighbourhood retailer points of sale and in this way complementing the offer provided by the Food Markets and fruit and vegetable outlet chains. We have our own points of sale, both in Mercabarna and in Mercamadrid and Mercaleon, where we place a wide range of produce at our customers’ disposal.

And the retail market?

The truth is that our growth is not based on large retail outlets. However, the promotion of the banana and plantain category has provided us with the connections within this sector that require source, volumes and continuous supply and we can offer this as well. Our main customers from this sector are smaller, regional chains.

What are CMR’s future projects?

On the one hand, we will continue promoting the space for banana ripening in Barcelona and in Madrid. On the other, we will consolidate our position as a reference for quality, production and marketing of watermelons, yellow melons and particularly off-season piel de sapo melons in Europe. We will also continue to promote our Import and Export Department, increasing produce sources, varieties and availabilities throughout the year, as well as the retail sector, extending our portfolio and channels.

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