The second Tertulia Business Agro de Siete Agromarketing in Toledo meets the expectations of public and participation

The II Tertulia Business Agro ‘Olive Oil: US and Mexican markets’, which Siete Agromarketing held in Toledo on November 15th has met the expectations of public and participation, and has given as a main conclusion the excellent commercial prospects that offers the North American market, despite the political moment. Meanwhile, Mexico is configured as a destination to take into account and the Ministry of Agriculture of Castilla-La Mancha has designed a battery of aid to contribute to the size of the sector.

The 2nd Tertulia Business Agro ‘Olive Oil: US and Mexican Markets’, held on November 15th at the ‘El Greco’ Conference Center in Toledo, and organized by Siete Agromarketing and e-Comercio Agrario, hand in hand of the Institute of Foreign Promotion of Castilla-La Mancha (IPEX) and which was sponsored by Bankia, has given as a main conclusion the good commercial expectations offered by the US market for Spanish olive oil, despite the political situation that cross both US and Mexico after the victory of Donald Trump.

Opening table.

Opening table.

The discussion was moderated by the journalist Jorge Jaramillo and had an important influx of public, representative of the whole sector and related industries, as well as service and banking companies. It was clear that the US is the third consumer of olive oil after Spain and Italy, and in the last year its consumption has increased by 7% in value and 4.3% in volume, according to Nielsen.

In this sense, although it is still early and there are no studies that prove this, Pedro J. Domínguez, Unit Business Director of the consulting firm, has sent a reassuring message to the olive oil sector since the US has no production of its own, however its consumption is a trend that has been consolidated, “so you need to import”.

The Mexican market, even starting from much more modest volumes, is growing very important in consumption, specifically 15% according to Nielsen

Mexico is emerging as a market to take into account, given the expectations it offers to Spanish operators as a possible destination to create industrial fabric, as emphasized by Eduardo Perez Noyola, Operations Coordinator of Promexico.

Dimensioning and aid to the sector

However, the need to join forces and establish close collaboration among all actors in the sector to promote and strengthen trade and promotional action has become evident. In this line, Gregory Jaime Rodriguez, director general of the Agro-food and Cooperative Industries of Castilla-La Mancha, has announced the imminent entry into force of the regulation of the so-called Priority Associative Entities of Regional Interest, in addition to the implementation of a new measure of the Rural Development Program, whose objective is to encourage the creation of producer groups to promote joint marketing policies, with special emphasis on foreign markets. For its elaboration it has counted with Agro-alimentary Cooperatives of Castilla-La Mancha, as indicated its director, Jose Luis Rojas Sánchez.

In the same vein, Fernando Laviña Richi, Director of the Institute of Foreign Promotion of Castilla-La Mancha (IPEX) recalled that the institution of which he is part has launched an Export Initiation Program that provides technical support and Financial to all those entities that want to open their business to foreign markets.

Along with these measures, the coordinates that are marking and should mark the internationalization of the sector are the commitment to the quality and knowledge of destination markets

In this sense, Pedro J. Domínguez, Unit Business Director of Nielsen, has emphasized the need to deepen the knowledge of North American consumers, characterized by their great heterogeneity. Parameter defended also by the representatives of Aceites García de la Cruz and Faiges Borras, for whom it is also essential the knowledge of the administrative and legislative functioning, being the parameter that makes the difference in the commercial relations with the US the constancy in all the aspects, because, as has become clear, unlike the Spanish market, the US does not understand fluctuations.

A topic of maximum interest for the operators, especially taking into account that the exchange rate of the currencies is not stable and that the systems of collection are not equal in the US and in Spain. That is why Enrique Alberto Cabello, Foreign Trade of Companies of Bankia, has pointed out the importance of having specific services such as prefinancing of exports with which the entity has, and whose objective is to accompany exporters.

All this helped by a productive modernization, as highlighted by Alfonso Gómez Porras, Managing Director of Todolivo, special collaborator of the event. This modernization is aimed at improving the profitability of the production and the excellence of the varieties, and that the company has achieved with the olive groves in hedge.

Defense and market promotion

Another of the chapters that deserved special interest was the need to defend the sector against smear campaigns, mainly from Italy, as pointed out by Aniceto Gómez, Vice President of Centroliva, whose origin is the increase in sales by Spanish operators.

The representative of Centroliva has also manifested the need to defend cornicabra oil, a unique variety in Spain much appreciated in other markets like Italy

In that sense, Gregory Jaime explained that in the Ministry is working on the defense and promotion of the cornicabra, although it is true that much remains to be done.

Public assistant to the event.

Public assistant to the event.

In addition, it was also evident the need to deepen and continue the promotion of olive oil abroad, with special emphasis on quality figures. In this sense, the Interprofessional of the sector, also a special collaborator in the Tertulia, has made a promotional video with Rafa Nadal as ambassador of Spanish oils and was projected during the event. Although both Infaoliva and Centroliva value this step, both entities have agreed that this measure is not enough.

For its part, Rosa Ana Gómez, Councilman of Tourism of the City of Toledo has also praised the benefits of olive oil and the importance it implies for the industrial fabric of the city, qualified as the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy 2016, mention through which translates the excellence of this product, both its citizens and tourists who visit the city.

Enrique Delgado Hidalgo, General Secretary of Infaoliva, has also indicated that the institution he represents has just approved a budget item to make a specific promotion campaign in the United States.

Lastly, Gissele Falcón, Director of Siete Agromarketing, emphasized the importance of the Tertulias Agro Business as a meeting point and impetus for the agri-food sector through dialogue, and whose first edition took place last September in Lleida, where addressed the marketing of safe fruit in China.


Siete Agromarketing successfully celebrates its first Tertulia Business Agro in Lleida

Siete Agromarketing has successfully celebrated the first of its series of Business Agro Tertulias, an innovative formula of meeting and debate that aims to foster collaboration between professionals and companies in the agricultural sector and the different institutions and administrations, around a topical issue and interest.

I Tertulia Agro Business Marketing DO WE SPEAK?: marketing stone fruit in China, which was held on September 29th in Lleida, has thrown its main conclusions address the challenge of this demanding and vast market under a brand of quality differentiated focus the supply of Spanish stone fruit exports to this country. The sector has welcomed the announcement of MAGRAMA director general Valentin Almansa, “that Russia “will not hinder the logistic transport by train”.

As stressed in this forum, jointly organized by Siete Agromarketing, e-Comercio Agrario (ECA) and the Business Association of Fruit of Catalonia (Afrucat), the fact that the Chinese consumer with some purchasing power prefer the imported goods rather than those produced in the country, given the limited guarantees they offer, represents for the Spanish production of stone fruit the opportunity to differentiate in quality and food safety and retain a segment of the Chinese population estimated at about 200 million population.

With the signing between Spain and China, on April 13th, of the protocol for the export of stone fruits, our country has become the world’s first with free access to this kind of fruit at the Chinese market. During the opening session (which was attended by the Director General of Food Quality and Food Industries (DARP) of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Antoni Diaz, the director general of Health of the Agricultural Production of MAGRAMA, Valentin Almansa; Deputy mayor for Promotion of Lleida, Rafael Peris, and Gissele Falcon, CEO of Seven Agromarketing and ECA), the representative of MAGRAMA informed, in relation to the importance of alternative routes of transport to the sea which shorten transit times, that Russia has confirmed in writing that the Government will not hinder the transport by rail through its territory of Spanish fruit to China.

Almansa: “China is an example of what will be our future in export, as strong pressure from mass distribution on the producer sector is forced to seek new alternatives. So we are forced to look further and by a longer period of time”

Meanwhile, Antoni Diaz, said among the challenges of export of stone fruit to China, on the one hand, the need for a thorough knowledge of the market, its distributors and business contacts because, culturally and traditionally, business with Chinese companies basically get “making friends”. On the other, taking into account the conditions in this type of fruit, of more perishable nature than others, leading to work logistical and crop areas to get to reach such a remote destination in the shortest possible time and in the most optimal conditions. In that sense, Rafael Peris said that, unlike the Asian market, “selling to Europe, is to sell to neighbors, as sell yourself”, with logistical and transport very similar.

On the importance of a joint strategy in the export sector of stone fruit to successfully reach the Chinese market, Valentin Turegano, Business Manager of Tecnidex referred to the convenience of opting for a brand policy, through a quality distinction recognized (protected Geographical Indication (PGI), protected Designation of Origin (PDO), following the example of Chile with cherry exports to China, where the product has already been done with a name and prestige.

PRODECA manager, Ramon Sentmartí Director stressed the importance of positioning as a quality brand to compete in the Chinese market

Gatherings of experts in international market.

Gatherings of experts in international market.

In this commitment to address the Chinese market in a joint and coordinated manner under the same umbrella brand of “Premium” quality, virtually all commentators agreed. Thus, the manager director of Afrucat, Manel Simon, pointed out that “our production of stone fruit should offer, compared to those produced in China, size, quality, (rather sweet) intense flavor and durability. In that sense, and although these are not an easy challenge, our exports have in this country a unique opportunity to join through a brand quality “.

Meanwhile, Joan Solanes, CEO of Chinese-Spanish Commercial Office (OCCHE), said that aggregate brand”Peach Spain” to distinguish the productions of our country, it would be a good opportunity to gain market share in China. “In that sense, we have an excellent vehicle to promote and disseminate trade online and RR.SS” he assured. In that vein, Joan Presseguer, CEO of Fruits de Ponent, said that to boost a powerful export to China is necessary to combine the efforts of industry, research, and institutions. “We must work on the concept of” collective intelligence “to export more and better”, he remarked.

Logistics, technology and finance, key to success

Issues of technology, logistics and financial, as essential to successfully reach the Chinese market key, would focus the debate on the first talk show, starring representatives of Syngenta, Tecnidex, Caixa Company and Port of Barcelona, all sponsoring entities of this event.

“Winning keys to reach China.”

“Winning keys to reach China.”

Thus, in relation to aspects of postharvest, Rui Correia, CP Asset Mgt Lead Iberia Syngenta, highlighted the efforts of his company to offer solutions so that the fruit is marketed under the best conditions and satisfy the end consumer, “considering that the postharvest period is calculated from the fruit is harvested until it reaches the consumer, without forgetting its time “shelf life”, which, in the case of a remote destination as China can be a period of up to two months”.

For Valentine Turegano, business manager of Tecnidex, “the taste will be one of the fundamental keys to take position strongly in this market in the future”.

Judith Illa, foreign trade expert of CaixaEmpresa, advised exporters that in cases of markets such as China with other currencies than the euro charge, had this aspect into account to better calculate their margins.

Lluis Paris, commercial manager of Port of Barcelona, said that China is the biggest trading partner of Port de Barcelona and 21% of their containers (400.000) have this country as origin or destination

“For the Port of Barcelona it is very important to know at all time what happens in this country and how to get our goods to that destination, as well as our commitment to the railroad, since 12% of the goods of our port also move by that means”, noted Paris.