“Nowadays, Costa Rica’s pineapples are the most demanded variety. Although produced also in other countries, Costa Rica has a reputation for producing the world’s best pineapples,” says Kent Meyer, of BriBri Compañía; a firm devoted to the sale and export of Costa Rican fruit.
The firm’s products, such as pineapples, Cavendish bananas, cassavas, papayas and mangoes, among others, are shipped from Costa Rica and its delegation in Spain to many European countries under the brand BRIBRI FRUITS.
A particularity of Spain’s pineapple market is that the fruit is perceived as a product for special occasions and festivities, such as Christmas. “This is something we would like to change, as we believe pineapples should be consumed daily. It is a very healthy fruit, and we are convinced that as consumers begin to realise this, they will consume it just like any other fruit. According to Kent, fruit consumption is already being promoted amongst children, but there is still a lot to do. “They should eat more fruit and fewer processed bakery products.”
Regarding cassavas, Costa Rica’s production is not very large and it is focused towards immigrants residing in Europe, “although their consumption is very low in Spain,” says Kent. “However, we export them to countries like the UK and Germany, where there are many more immigrants who consume them.”
The greatest difficulty that exotic fruit exporters face, according to Kent, are the high shipping costs, which makes the products expensive. “The shipping costs almost equal the value of the goods. The market would improve if shipping firms lowered their prices, as customers suffering the recession prefer cheaper products.”
The firm’s headquarters are located in San José, “which allows us to work directly with the fruit and supervise the entire process of production, quality control and shipping to international clients,” he affirms.
BriBrí’s name derives from one of Costa Rica’s largest ethnic groups, which has survived in harmony with nature for thousands of years. Despite the country’s deep changes, they have been able to keep their language and traditions, maintaining agriculture as their main activity.
The firm is also socially committed. It officially collaborates with Spain’s Esportus Foundation, which attempts to bring sport and culture closer to this ethnic group and to other countries with difficulties to access them.
“Our products go mainly to large wholesaler distributors; however, our long-term objective is to be able to supply large supermarket chains directly,” says Kent Miller. France and the UK are our main markets and we ship the cheaper, lower quality fruit to Eastern European countries, such as Romania, as that is what they request.”
BriBri Fruits will attend the upcoming Fruit Logistica 2013, to take place in Berlin between 6 and 8 February, although not under the company’s name. It will be represented at the stand of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce, where they will present their pineapples and conduct tastings.
From: Fresh Plaza