Aartsen recently expanded the fantastic range of UNO brand products to include stone fruit, specifically peaches, cherries, nectarines and flat peaches. In addition, the melon assortment now also includes honeydew and piel de sapo varieties.
Richard Uijtdewillegen and Jasper van der Sandt spent four days in Spain visiting dozens of growers, including individuals who farm and package for UNO. In this report, we focus on that aspect of the trip. Of course, Richard and Jasper received a warm welcome everywhere they went; after all, everyone involved firmly believes that it is important to maintain close ties and stay informed about each other’s developments.
During their visit to Cerima, Jasper and Richard got a first-hand look at the quality of the cherries the company supplies for UNO. It was the best time of year, too; the cherries were firm and deep red. The intention was expressed to increase operations next year, and possibilities for exporting cherries to Aartsen Asia will be explored. This is a complex undertaking, however, because the cold chain must be unbroken. The products must be stored and transported at the correct temperature from Spain to the end user in Asia. Currently, there is room for improvement. Temperature fluctuations in particular are detrimental to product quality.
Next stop: Agricola Sarrau. This family business is making great strides: they have a new warehouse fitted with new sorting and packing equipment. This grower produces nectarines, peaches and flat peaches, and the relocation has resulted in an even more professional enterprise. Following a trial period, intensive cooperation is now under way.
The ambitious Spaniards are geared towards Aartsen standards and Aartsen provides everything required packaging-wise. A black UNO container was chosen for the stone fruit line because it really does justice
to the products.
Later during the Spain trip, Richard and Jasper visited El Panal. They supply flat peaches, which is truly a speciality because it involves not only a high quality product but also the way it is selected and packaged. A visit to the valued partner Prudencio was also very important to Richard and Jasper. In addition to UNO, this brand is a household name for many Aartsen customers in the Benelux. During this trip, there was also time to learn more about an important new trend: ready-to-eat stone fruit. Aartsen already sells ready-to-eat products and stone fruit offers new possibilities for the future.
After two days in Lerida, Richard and Jasper headed south to Murcia, which is where the melons currently come from. They arranged with supplier Greype to package honeydew and piel de sapo melons under the UNO name in the season ahead, in addition to Cantaloupe, Charentais and Galia varieties. The UNO melon assortment is now complete. Seedless watermelons are packaged by another renowned company. The trip was also the perfect opportunity to visit growers who could potentially become UNO partners.
There is plenty in the works for UNO. A pilot involving the new unique displays that Aartsen developed for clients will be launched. Different UNO products will be showcased each week. Over time, a large-scale roll out will follow in order to market the UNO brand even more persuasively. This way, Aartsen builds a stronger connection with its customers, who in turn work on customer relations with their consumers.
All things considered, UNO is becoming a stronger brand, thanks as well to the partners in Spain.