One of the largest and most recognized U.S. citrus companies has announced plans to tap into the U.K. market, following a major acquisition earlier this year.
At the London Produce Show being held this week, a Wonderful Citrus representative told www.freshfruitportal.com there was an opportunity to develop lime and grapefruit sales in the European country.
Export sales director Dan Kass said the company was now in a position to move into the market, having acquired major Mexican lime grower B&S Grupo Exportador, S.A. de C.V. in April.
As part of the transaction, the group acquired nearly 2,000 acres of Persian lime orchards in Mexico, making it the largest lime grower in the country when combined with its existing lime acreage.
“B&S have a presence on the [European] continent already, with sales and distribution, but they don’t in the U.K,” he said.
“So we have existing business on the continent that we’re maintaining, but looking to develop new business that we don’t currently have here in the U.K.
“It’s really one of the key untapped markets for us.”
Kass said while the main focus would be on lime sales, the company would also try to generate business for its grapefruit. As for other fruit in the citrus category, there is simply too much competition from countries that are closer to the U.K.
“Limes would be number one and Texas grapefruit would be number two,” he said.
“That’s about all that would have a market here because you have Spain, Turkey, Egypt – all those Mediterranean suppliers that are on the same season as our California citrus.”
Tom Robyn, industrial sales manager from sister company Pom Wonderful, has recently moved over to the U.K. to act as the European sales manager.
Seafreight would take around 19 days from Mexico or Texas to reach the U.K. port of Southampton, according to Kass.
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