Chilean fruit season to set new volume records
April 14, 2005
by Tad Thompson
Sometimes those issues that seem to be a problem turn out just fine. So it has gone for those in the Chilean fruit business this year.
Rain early in the season harmed the cherry harvest, and for grapes and other items, it reduced export levels through the season?s first couple of months. The industry began to rebound in February, and has come on so strongly that this will become a record year for Chilean export volumes to the United States, Tom Tjerandsen, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association in Sacramento, CA, told The Produce News April 11.
?There was a lot of conjecture early on that there was no way to make up for lost shipments early in the season." Mr. Tjerandsen noted that "cold weather made the grape harvest late and weather problems affected the early cherry harvest," so the season started a couple million boxes behind record pace.
?But we?re going to have another record year for shipping to the U.S. from Chile," he said. The late success has come despite the fact that "importers have to bid against a strong euro. It is easier for the Chileans to ship to Europe because of the strong currency. In spite of that, [North American] retailers have found shoppers to be willing and interested." These retailers "are not at all reluctant to order this year because the fruit quality is exceptional, including stone fruit, which they usually grouse about. This year the stone fruit was really fine quality. The stone fruit, all agree, has been exceptionally high quality this year. It has been a good year for shippers."
Mr. Tjerandsen said that the CFFA "has a new [point-of-sale] package this year, full of proven-effective sales materials that retailers have really embraced and used aggressively. This has helped move additional volume." While Chilean fruit is regarded in the trade as a product that has saturated the North American market, he said, "the fruit is still a high-impulse purchase. For some people it is still somewhat of a startling concept to have grapes, peaches and plums in the winter. Point-of-sale materials help call this to their attention."
Fran Boetes leaves Brooks to start his own firm
April 14, 2005
by John Groh
Fran Boetes, who oversaw sales, marketing, transportation and fruit purchasing for Brooks Tropicals as senior vice president of marketing and sales, left the company March 31 to begin his own management strategy and marketing consulting firm, Frans H. Boetes LLC, based in Miami.
With extensive U.S. and international experience, Mr. Boetes said that his goal is to help companies become more successful. "I want to guide companies into new markets using new business concepts," he said. "The market is getting more and more aggressive, and I have a lot of experience in the field to help companies become successful and increase their sales."
Mr. Boetes joined Brooks Tropicals in late 2003 as vice president of marketing, and was soon promoted to senior vice president of marketing and sales. Prior to Brooks, he was a managing director for Coca-Cola in the Netherlands. In all, he has more than 30 years of experience in business, having run his own consulting business, Boetes? Consultants, prior to his tenure with Coca-Cola.
Mr. Boetes said that his strengths lie in the agricultural, packaging and regulating areas of business, and his international experience will be a benefit to clients as the produce industry becomes more global in nature, with the prominence of product from Chile, Mexico and Brazil.
?The world is getting smaller but more complicated," he said. "People know their businesses and tend to stick to what they do well. I know how to develop new business concepts and how to implement them to help people expand their businesses. Everyone wants to be successful, but it has to be in a professional way, or someone else will come along and do it better."
Mr. Boetes said that he enjoyed his time at Brooks Tropicals, calling it "a great company." He pointed to his ability to increase sales, implement new business concepts and increase brand recognition as some of his more notable accomplishments at the company.
As for the structure of his new consulting company, Mr. Boetes said that he is looking to maintain a small business. "I am considering taking on some partners, but I am not looking to have a big company. I am just going to play it by ear. I will have some clients soon, and we?ll see how it goes."
Craig Wheeling, chief executive officer of Brooks Tropicals, based in Homestead, FL, said that there is currently no plan to replace Mr. Boetes, and that his duties would likely be divided among people both inside and outside the company.