Fruit Today had the chance to talk to Jesús López, the Director of CMR Infinita at Mercamadrid.
With food prices skyrocketing, how are the sales in the market going?
The result of the impact of inflation on prices is affecting client shopping behaviour, who in general, are opting for a more regular purchase process with a reduced bill in order to minimise risks.
We are a few weeks from finishing the melon and watermelon import season and just a few days from the start of the Almeria campaign. What has the season that is reaching its end been like?
Our counterseason campaign, in which CMR GROUP, through its melon and watermelon brand, COSARICA, is a market reference, as it is a producer with 2,200 ha in Brazil, has offered some very high quality standards, with melons of up to 15 degrees brix.
Furthermore, in this campaign we have introduced the new image of the COSARICA brand, with some eye-catching, colourful graphics both on its boxes and on the individual labels, which reflect the product source. This up-dating has been very well accepted by the market, with a very positive valuation that is promoting our brand awareness.
Once the import campaign is over, we will concentrate on the Spanish national campaign, starting with the production from Almeria, followed by other local sources to complete the production cycle and annual offer.
And continuing with another category, in bananas and plantains, how is the season going?
The La Palma volcanic eruption in 2021 caused an imbalance in the offer of Canary island bananas. This space was occupied by plantains, which covered this temporary shortage of produce and the market’s requirements in full, without any interruptions.
This year, the supply of Canary island bananas has returned to normal, which has led to a balance between the two offers being reached again.
You have stands in building A of the market, which is about to reach the year anniversary of the fire that broke out there. How did it affect you?
Fortunately, we were not directly affected by the fire and our offer in all its variety and extension has been at our clients’ disposal at all times during this period.
Today, building A is running at 50% of its capacity and its rebuilding is under way. The truth is that with a building in these conditions, the sales operations are reduced because obviously there is less traffic; we hope that by the end of the summer it will have been completely finished and everything will have got back to normal.
What is it like not knowing what could happen to this market if the administrative concessions are not renewed?
Obviously, every day that passes and the closer we get to 2032, the uncertainty is taking over the companies because investments have come to a halt. We cannot imagine a situation in which the renewal does not occur, but at present, nothing is clear.
How are the pre-ripened mangos and avocados under your Aurum brand evolving?
After the success of pre-ripened avocados, we decided to opt for mangos in the same conditions. We offer two top-quality products, in perfect condition for immediate eating thanks to the strict controls carried out during the entire ripening and marketing process. The Aurum brand is already a synonym for extra quality on the market, which has found a stamp of quality and confidence in our brand.