Jordanian farmers experience success in Europe with Medjool dates
Fruits grow well in the Jordan Valley. One product that is growing in popularity is the Medjool date. Jordanian farmers are eager for European consumers to discover the high-quality dates they have to offer. To help producers in Jordan do business internationally, CBI started a 4-year project in 2018. 2 Farmers tell us about their experiences and what they learnt from the project.
Jamal AlAdwan, Managing Director of Jannat Adan Farms Company (JAFCO), explains more about the project, “CBI did a lot for the companies taking part. They offered workshops on doing business with EU buyers, training sessions with experts, and helped us connect with buyers and distributors.” Making the right connections and understanding the market is very important.
JAFCO already exports dates to the UK, but Mr AlAdwan is excited about exporting to Europe. “The European market is demanding, but we are confident in the quality of our product. We control the entire production process. We also have a high-tech irrigation system and unique packaging. During this project, we learned how to communicate our unique selling points to the world.”
The importance of standards
Exporters to the EU need to meet certain standards. The requirements are strict, and the process can take a long time. As part of the project, CBI guided farms through the certification process. AbuAyyash Farms benefitted from this support. “CBI made everything easier,” says Chief Marketing Officer Zaid AbuAyyash. “CBI brought experts to the farm. They helped us organise our workflow and guided us through the whole certification process. We would still be a couple of years behind without CBI’s help.” Most of the companies that took part in the CBI project are now Global GAP certified.
Improving as a sector
The Jordanian producers feel that the project helped them become more professional. Mr AbuAyyash says, “Our marketing became much stronger. CBI’s expert helped us find our identity and how to market it.” He adds that the pandemic also helped the company focus on online business.
Mr AlAdwan appreciated working and learning together with other businesses. “I loved seeing the change in mentality among Jordanian farmers,” he says. “Many farms are working hard to improve, and that benefits us all. It means that more and more often, buyers will associate Jordan with high quality and innovation.”