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Roelant Komen, BeeFair Organic:

"Organic mangoes and limes should sell well in December"

This spring saw BeeFair Organic begin as a new organic fruit-importing company in the Netherlands. "Although that fell in mid-season with certain products, we're delighted with how the season's first months went," Roelant Komen begins. "Our sales are pretty broad. We serve (organic) supermarkets and wholesalers, but also recipe box and fruit basket suppliers. Germany is our biggest market, followed by France."

This young company recently started importing organic limes and mangoes from Brazil. "Limes are a new item for us, which we can offer in Fairtrade and organic. Sales are going quite well. It's just that there are still some European limes from countries like Spain, Italy, and Corsica on the market. Those should be gone soon, then demand will pick up," says Roelant.

The new Brazilian organic lime market is getting underway, and the importer has these available year-round. "Organic lime prices can fluctuate significantly and are currently between €8.50 and €9.50. That's rather good. Sales usually increase in December, and customers are already reserving products for the holidays. January is traditionally quieter for limes sales."

The Brazilian organic mango season is in full swing at BeeFair Organic. "The mango market is empty, and there's a shortage. It's, thus, not a question of selling but sharing out because all clients would like to order larger quantities. For now, though, the mango supply will remain tight because supply problems are expected from Peru. However, we hope to get the first organic Fairtrade mangoes from there before Christmas," Roelant explains.

BeeFair Organic started a subsidiary in Peru at the same time as the Dutch sales office was established. "That's hugely beneficial. We receive many products from our growers and have first-hand information. Our Peruvian colleagues support the growers, help them with certifications, and export the fruit. They also supervise our social projects."

"We already generally carry a nice fruit range. In the summer, we, for example, had quite a few Peruvian avocados and South African citrus," says Komen. "But our biggest item was Peruvian ginger. We sold a fair amount towards the processing industry for the emerging ginger juice market."

"A new line of business for us this year was importing flown-in mangoes. Our buyers demanded those when the market had little to no Spanish organic mangoes. Those didn't involve large numbers, but they suited a specific group of customers well. We also hope to make our mark with South African organic grapes again this year. These are popular around Christmas, and it looks like, this year, we'll get them in the week before," Roelant concludes.

For more information:
Roelant Komen
Bee Fair Organic Holland
Poeldijk, The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 (0) 627 823 496

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