Dole Europe has become the first international fruit company to enter Romania, following the announcement that it has acquired fresh produce import company Distrifrut for an undisclosed fee.
In a statement, the company said the importer, which was originally establised by Dole's long-term receiver in the country Fadi Nahas and is sole distributor of the Dole brand in Romania, will now operate as division of the Dole business.
Following the opening of the market in the early 1990s, Dole began selling fruit in the country through Distrifrut and, since then, the importer has built up a market share of more than 25 per cent.
Explaining the decision to bring Distrifrut under the Dole banner, Dole Europe vice-president Sylvain Cuperlier commented: "Dole has decided to operate in Romania directly in order to provide top-quality products and services to its European retail partners who are also operating in the country."
He continued: "Dole already supplies and advises them in most European countries through its expert ripening and distribution network. This operation enables the company to extend its scope of operation in the region."
Dole Romania will operate from six different locations in the country: Bucharest, Constanta, Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi and Bacau.
The group is expected to benefit from a brand new, state-of-the-art fruit terminal in the Port of Agigea, near Constanta on the Black Sea, where Dole bananas arriving mainly from Ecuador are discharged from Dole ships.
With its own network in place, Dole will seek to distribute a full range of fresh fruit to its customers in the country.
"The acquisition of Distrifrut is a demonstration of Dole’s ongoing commitment to providing its customers with high quality products and services," added Mr Cuperlier, "and represents yet another successful chapter in the history of the company in Europe."