Six leading Portuguese fruit and vegetable producers have joined forces to create a new consortium to boost their export potential.
Set up in October, Unifarmers Frutas de Portugal brings together Campotec, Ecofrutas, Ferreira da Silva, Frutoeste, Granfer and Lusopêra, who between them have an estimated output of 120,000 tonnes and the potential to grow by a further 50,000 tonnes in the next few years. Rocha pears account for the bulk of Unifarmers’ export volume (80,000 tonnes).
“All Portuguese companies are facing strong pricing pressure, while the Russian ban has also affected sales of our fruit,” Unifarmers’ general manager Ernesto Xavier told Fruitnet. “That’s why a group of previous competitors has decided to come together as a single, stronger player in order to conquer new markets.”
With the Unifarmers brand set to hit the market in the coming months, the company has announced a new sales strategy based around the distinctive qualities of Rocha pears. “This is a unique variety with an annual harvest of only 200,000 tonnes and as such it is being sold in niche markets and promoted for its singular qualities, being sweet, crunchy, juicy and having a longer shelf-life,” said Xavier.