“We must take the pressure off the European markets”

Antonio Caballero, manager of Frutas Torero, talked to Fruit Today about the latest trade movements carried out by his company.

The executive is clearly in favour of taking the pressure off the European markets and, therefore, for many years now he has been committed to working with different African countries. “Globalisation is a fact and we must take advantage of synergies and diversify towards new markets that are outside the EU.”

South Africa is the main destination of the company from Murcia, with volumes that increase every campaign. “We have reached an average of between 60 and 80 containers per season, and it is a particularly attractive destination due to the fact that, being a potential producer, consumers know this fruit very well. The main varieties exported are both white and red grapes. Amongst the former are the following varieties: Superior, ITUM 4, Princess and ITUM 5; and in red grapes, ITUM 15 (a highly successful grape, which coincides with Rallie, a variety that South Africa produces in large amounts), ITUM 8, ITUM 9 and Crimson.”

The company from Abarán also exports, although in to a lesser degree, to Nigeria, Gabon, Kenya, Senegal, Mauritius, etc. “The preferences held in these countries are similar, with the exception that they don’t like black grapes.”

The Asian continent and, specifically, Malaysia also receive grapes from the company. And after the recent signing the of export protocol to China, Frutas Torero is getting ready for its first forays onto this market.

With Asia in mind, in 2018 the company planted 6 hectares of premium quality fruit. These included varieties by IFG: Sweet Celebration and Salute, red grapes with very high brix levels. Following the same line, in 2019, the first plantations of Sweet Glove will be started.

“It will be another of the varieties which, due to its sweetness and size, may adapt very well to Asian tastes. The Chinese market requirements are high, because there are consumers ready to pay a high price for quality fruit, and if you offer it, your brand will succeed. This is my perception of the Chinese market,” Caballero comments.

The dynamism of the company from Murcia, which has been in contact with Chilean producers for three decades now, allows it to always put pioneer varieties on the market. In this case, there are great expectations regarding the Maylen variety (a black variety with a minimum of 20 brix), of which it already has planted 9 hectares. “Chile has always been a reference and many of the innovations that I have introduced come from my long-standing relationship with the country.”

Regarding the now finished grape season, the executive explains that “it was a campaign full of all kinds of fluctuations, from excess production at the beginning, to different problems at the destinations caused by the persistent rainfall, but in general, the results were correct.”

Stone fruit is another of Frutas Torero’s production keystones, although currently “we are starting to convert some areas of fruit trees that are at risk of frost over to grape productions. These actions are all aimed at becoming more competitive in both products.”

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