European fresh produce supplier Total Produce is aiming to build on the success of its year-round, managed approach to categories including berries, exotics and cherries by establishing a similar commercial operation for stonefruit.
Led by former Mack commercial director Janina Dowding, Total Stonefruit is targeting growth in the European market for products including peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots.
Speaking exclusively in the June edition of Eurofruit, Dowding said the new division would apply the same commercial principles used by the group's other dedicated category-specific units.
"We're very much trying to emulate what Total Produce has done in berries and cherries," she commented. "It's an opportunity for the group to take the category management approach adopted in the UK and extend it to Europe, taking stonefruit to a 52-week programme that includes varietal development, sales plans and so on."
Identifying Nordic markets as particularly promising, Dowding added that new suppliers and sources would be required in order to achieve the expected growth.
"Traditionally, the European stonefruit suppliers have been Italy and Spain, with South Africa emerging as the key counter-seasonal supplier rather than Chile, but we will certainly need others to supply the shoulders of the European season."
To read the full interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your copy of Eurofruit's June 2014 issue and set up a trial subscription.