“We are looking to source organic bananas grown by smallholder farmers in the near future”

The international trade in traditional bananas has grown increasingly intense over the past 10 years. This has meant that today many of the fruits sold by German stores are directly imported this is the reason that general requirements for small producers of fruit are starting to be more complicated. Santiago Figueroa, managing director of Tinofrutas Ltd, which was established in 2008 and located in Neuenstadt am Kocher in Germany is hoping to give bulk buyers from Germany as well as other countries with an alternative that is made of top-quality, high-end bananas from small-scale farmers in Ecuador.

Tinofrutas Ltd was founded in 2008 as a subsidiary company of Tinofrutas Cia Ltda. With the intention of offering fruit from the southern coast of Ecuador to the European market. Tinofrutas is now a major source located in Palmar known as a renowned producer cooperative in the southern region of Ecuador. “We were forced to suspend the import of bananas in the last few months due to the Ukraine crises and more demanding conditions, but we’re now back in operation. Overall, we observe that the traditional market for bananas particularly in Germany has become quite saturated and this affects the cost circumstances,” Figuero says.

Customs and freight costs are increased. clearing costs

“We need to be fighting to earn every dollar in our daily routine,” Figueroa continues. Unfavorable rates for dollars and the increased cost of customs clearance and freight cost are particularly damaging to the imports of Ecuador Figueroa adds. “We have to pay around 4.50-5.00 for each colli (18kg carton) for logistics, which is a significant increase than, for instance, Colombia. Naturally, this impacts negatively on the margins for profit. We have also been able to sustain significant losses during the last two years. However, we’ve gained a lot of knowledge during the last two years and are constantly ready for rapidly changing market.”

Apart from Germany, Tinofrutas also serves customers from countries like France as well as in the Netherlands.

Private Label Launch

According to him, this has caused the dedicated importer of fruit to change its structure. “We are looking to fundamentally change the way we conduct us and be more in the direction of organics, because we are seeing potential sales organic bananas Germany. Small farmers often sell their produce on the roadsides or in local markets even though their bananas are top-quality in every aspect. The goal is now to place these items together and sell the same concept within Europe. In this regard we’ve launched our own private brand Tino-Fresh.” The first private label conventional bananas are due to arrive in Rotterdam by mid-April. the first organic fruits scheduled to arrive during the second quarter of the year, according to the company says.

Expanding the product line

The bananas not only grow and flourish especially well in Ecuador as well, but there are also many other tropical fruit. Figueroa declares: “Because of this, we plan to broaden the range of our products, which includes pitahaya, pineapple and perhaps passion fruit grown by smaller Ecuadorian producers in the near future. There is capacity already which is why wholesale buyers can reach us anytime.”

Images: Tinofrutas Ltd.

More information is available here:

Santiago Figueroa

Tinofrutas GmbH

Gymnasiumstr. 34

74196 Neuenstadt am Kocher

Tel. : 07139/5078030

Fax: 07139/ 5078030

Email: info@tinofrutas.de


Source: The Plantations International Agroforestry Group of Companies