CBI creates opportunities for fresh fruit company
Tres Marias Green Export S.A. is one of the fresh fruit companies that participates in CBI’s ‘Connecting Central America’ programme. The women-led company from Guatemala wants to establish a commercial alliance with the European Market to guarantee continuity. Thanks to the personalised support of CBI, they have been able to meet market requirements. And therefore, have greater opportunities to make long-term business relationships.
The objective of ‘Connecting Central America’ is to strengthen the Central American capacity to market goods and services. The programme runs from 2018 to 2021 and targets Fresh Fruit & Vegetables as one of the four segments within the Agri-food sector. CBI invited women-led organisations to participate and selected 17 companies in 6 countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
Tres Marias Green Export S.A. specialises in production and export of Persian limes. Founder and co-owner Maria Alejandra Cordova is positive about the programme: “It has been a very enriching experience. Not only for the knowledge acquired but also the opportunity to apply it in the field. The opportunity to become familiar with the European culture and market, and to understand the way of doing business, has been invaluable.”
She is proud to have achieved the GLOBALG.A.P. certification. The certificate proves that the company sticks to good agricultural practices, cares about the well-being of its workforce and demonstrates responsible environmental management. Tres Marias currently employs around 150 workers, the majority of whom are women. “This is something we are very proud of,” says Cordova. “The women can provide their households with a regular and stable source of income and thus secure a better future for their children.”
Tres Marias has experience exporting to Europe but not on a regular basis. It wants to establish a commercial alliance and guarantee continuity. “Thanks to the support of CBI, we have been able to strengthen our administrative and marketing activities. Now, we have greater opportunities to establish long-term business relationships,” says Cordova. “In 2019, we participated in the European Market Orientation Mission. We had the opportunity to visit import and logistics companies and the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid. This participation gave us a better understanding of the European market. We could identify trends, as well as regulations and the requirements to access the market and the way of doing business in Europe.”
Lime trade channel
‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is a famous saying. It means to turn negatives into positives. Tres Marias had invested in dicing equipment before the programme began. CBI’s sector expert Arno Van der Maden managed to link Tres Marias with a company looking for exactly this product. Tres Marias was able to establish a trade channel for diced limes, and they have recently shipped their second container to the client.
Fruit Logistica Berlin
Tres Marias will present their quality products at Fruit Logistica, from 5 – 7 February, as well as 11 other companies participating in the programme. Fruit Logistica in Berlin is the largest fruit & vegetable fair in the world.
This project is co-financed by the European Union and the Dutch government and coordinated by SIECA.