Fresh Plaza Magazine
A dozen importers from the United Arab Emirates have organised a trade mission to Fraga, in the Spanish province of Huesca, to find out about the quality of the different fruit varieties grown in the area and assess the possibility of importing.
According to the Fraga City Council, two of the ten importers have arrived in advance to visit the area’s sixteen fruit packing stations, and the remaining eight will join them next Thursday.
The Arab importers will stay in Fraga for a week, during which over a hundred visits to local producers have been scheduled to “open the door” to the creation of a trade relationship deemed “essential” to boost trade in the most demanding markets of the Middle East.
This mission, organised by the city of Fraga, the Chamber of Commerce of Huesca and the association Aragon Exterior, has been described by the mayor, Santiago Escándil, as a way to cope with the difficulties caused for the region’s producers by the Russian veto last year.
Escándil was convinced that “we are in a good position to convince” the Arab importers, given the quality of Fraga’s fruit and the presence in the area of leading industries working at the high levels of “efficiency and quality” required by countries such as the United Arab Emirates.
They also claim that the UAE’s interest goes “beyond” its own market, since this small country has become a re-export hub in the Middle East, playing a similar role to the Netherlands in Europe, and could thus open a market for Fraga’s fruit of 300 million people.
For his part, one of the importers, Ellie Shaheen, of Kaf Group, has said to be impressed by the large number of varieties produced in the area, and stated that the mission opens “great opportunities” to do business between both parts.
Shaheen stressed how the UAE market needs a daily and continuous supply of fresh produce and consequently requires the greatest possible number of suppliers. He warned that the goal is to obtain “high quality and competitive prices.”