Angus Soft Fruits is one of the top providers of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to U.K. retailers, sourcing not just local supply but also from various corners of the world for year-round availability. At www.freshfruitportal.com we speak with the company’s South America procurement manager Nicolás Sotomayor, who expects increased blueberry volumes from the continent in the coming years.
“This season we have significant growth in the region, for which I was hired to support and control field management. This increase is supported by companies that Angus has built trade relations with,” he said.
“Now, with my experience and presence in the field I believe we can do things even better, also as a direct alternative for grower-exporters who are interested in the English market.”
He emphasized a new productive base would be obtained without interfering with growers who already have a relationship with Angus.
“Today we have a strong base of providers in the region, meeting standards to bring a quality and sustainable delivery during the fruit season’s development.”
Sotomayor said it was essential to give providers better prices and greater stability in the U.K. compared to other markets like the U.S.
“In one harvest season every grower has different levels of product quality, which is important to know well to make a good decision about the type of product to export. The idea is to deliver a product according to required demands – what’s important is that growers prioritize management of pruning, fertilization and health controls.”
He emphasized the importance of post harvest quality and pointed to continued efforts to improve varieties, orchards, packhouses and logistics.
“The good thing about this work is that we face growing international demand, in which the U.K. is developing as a market known for its high standard and demand for quality, especially focused on what is ‘food safe’, as well as certifications for social responsibility and agricultural sustainability.”
Sotomayor, who has worked in the industry for a decade, will help growers with auditing issues and complying with agreements, in terms of quality, food safety and the timing of fruit orders, shipping and arrivals.
He said retailers like Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons required a year-round supply of high quality berries, which is why it was so important to have good and serious providers.Fresh Fruit Portal