Soloberry announce strategic alliance in North African strawberry collaboration
At the last day of the 2018 Fruit Attraction in Madrid, Soloberry held a press interview with Euro Fruit to announce its strategic alliance with iBerry of Morocco and Korra Agri of Egypt for North African strawberries.
The alliance forms a strong presence in the North African supply of strawberries into Europe and Asia. Bringing together high level growing knowledge, the experienced suppliers will be coming together to utilise the successful trading relationships from Soloberry’s ten years in the industry. In the light of recent IGD reports where grocery retail is undergoing a revolution, driven by mergers and acquisition, Soloberry see this strategic alliance as a major collaborative development in the future of strawberry supply. The businesses remain independent, although with an agreed set of objectives for the supply of North African berries.
iBerry and Korra Agri will supply the European and Asian markets through the newly formed strategic alliance with partner Soloberry managing the relationship with customers and the logistics of supply. Soloberry has become the exclusive partner for Korra Agri in Europe (excluding the UK) and remains the exclusive partner for iBerry, whom they sell 100% of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry production from both north and south Morocco.
The Moroccan and Egyptian companies are keen to build a stronger, consistent European business for the supply of their berries and see industry leader, Soloberry as the best vehicle to facilitate their progress of bringing strawberries to the market pre-Christmas.
Rachel Montague-Ebbs, Group Head of Brand “Now is the most exciting time we have seen in a very long time in fresh produce, all eyes are on the healthy food alternatives, the low sugar, low calorie, high nutritional gems that we can all consume in different ways. This strategic alliance brings together two powerhouses of the production area for strawberries and we are extremely excited to be able to be the vehicle taking Moroccan and Egyptian strawberries on this world journey”.
With social media appearing to make the world a smaller place, but a changing political environment that may bring more borders in Europe, now is the best time to breed innovation, and collaboration rather than competition will drive businesses forward. Soloberry believe a focus as the grower with unparalleled knowledge and a strong infrastructure on farm, is what their customers will demand as the market changes. Consolidation of volumes, collaboration on programme fulfilment and marketing will disrupt established business models.
“Shared interests are driving new collaborations, we are no longer in a world where we can see our rivals as a threat, rather more that we have common interests and in order to continue to grow our industry we must open up a more collaborative dialogue” Rachel Montague-Ebbs.
Soloberry been established iBerry in 2013 and are co-owners of significant land and packing operations in Morocco. Co-operative iBerry established with six growers, five years ago, growing strawberries only, with Soloberry holding 23% share. Together they produce 2000t of fresh strawberries and 1000t of frozen strawberries annually. In addition to this is 3000t of raspberry and 1000t of blueberry with exclusive access to breeding programmes and varieties through Soloberry.
Korra Agri, established in 2001 exporting grapes to British and European markets, introduced the export of strawberries and peaches to their portfolio in 2005. The business has been giving careful attention to the production of strawberry, as it is seen to be the most promising of export crops in Egypt, especially among small scale farmers. Korra Agri focused on these small scale farmers, training them to adopt safe and modern agriculture methods and then joining them together to form four larger farms that are the backbone of their strawberry production today. Korra Agri focus on working with partners from the selection of the strawberry plants to the containers arriving in European warehouses to make sure that the relationship is fruitful for years to come.