HomeHorticultural businessInterviewsEximcrop helps Georgian producers to sell apples in the Gulf countries

Eximcrop helps Georgian producers to sell apples in the Gulf countries

In the coming days, the first container with 20 tonnes of apples from the Georgian producer Tirifoni Fruits will be exported to Dubai (UAE).

The delivery is organized by Eximcrop under a joint memorandum signed by Eximcrop, Tiriphoni Fruits LLC, and the USAID Agricultural Program in December 2021, to promote the diversification of Georgian apple export markets. The USAID Agricultural Program covered part of the expenses of the Georgian producer and logistics costs, including placing the products in a warehouse in Dubai.

Eximcrop is an international technology company with dual jurisdiction (USA and Estonia), developing an online platform for international trade in agricultural and food products and providing a wide range of services to help producers and traders. In particular, the company provides a full cycle of fulfillment, which includes warehousing, customer acquisition, organization of tastings, and local distribution.

As Vakhtang Gogaladze, co-founder and CEO of Eximcrop, said in an interview with EastFruit, the export of a batch of apples from Georgia planned for next week is an important event, due to several factors at once.

“Let’s start with the fact that this is the first-ever large shipment of apples from Georgia to the countries of the Persian Gulf. We believe that Georgian apples have a huge potential in this market. On the other hand, deliveries to these countries will help to diversify the markets for Georgian apples, more than 98% of which are traditionally exported to Russia. Besides political issues and instability, due to the sanctions imposed because of the war in Ukraine, the Russian market is characterized by less solvency. Also, according to our data, the new orchards planted in Russia, in particular, in the North Caucasus and the Krasnodar Territory (these are tens of thousands of hectares), will enter full fruiting in 2-3 years, and the former demand for Georgian apples will no longer exist (the situation is similar with blueberries). And hope for the Russian market means that in the future the Georgian supply chain will collapse. Against this background, the UAE market is extremely important, as 100% of its products are imported, the market is solvent and it is in the same region as Georgia. The main thing here is to organize the supply of products and provide the client with control over the entire supply chain, which Eximcrop does. I want to note that with the use of Eximcrop technologies, warehouse rental and distribution in the Dubai market cost the client five times cheaper than the traditional way of selling products with warehouse rental throughout the year. This gives an advantage to suppliers from our region in the process of selling products in bulk, bypassing intermediaries.

It is important that Georgian apples are packed individually for the first time – they are placed in bushels with trays (100 apples in each), and such packaging meets UAE standards (unlike plastic boxes, as they are sold in some countries, including Russia).

In addition, when storing apples in the Tiriphoni Fruits refrigeration complex, the Smart Fresh quality assurance system is used, which allows keeping apples fresh long. It is also the Dubai market standard.

All factors taken together give us a reason to hope for successful sales of Georgian apples in the Dubai market,” he said.

According to Vakhtang Gogaladze, apples from Tiriphoni Fruits will be placed in one of the Eximcrop warehouses in Dubai, from where they will be sold. Apple tasting will be organized in the showroom for potential customers invited by the producer.

“Today, few people in Dubai know about Georgian apples. Meanwhile, the demand for apples is good there. Dubai is a market where absolutely everything is sold. The main thing is that the products are of high quality, and the supply chain is set up in such a way that it does not cause a rise in the price of the product, and that both buyers and sellers feel comfortable,” the CEO noted.

It is noteworthy that Eximcrop and Tirifoni Fruits have agreed on long-term cooperation. Moreover, this is not only about the supply of apples from the Tirifoni Fruits group of producers.

“Tiriphoni Fruits will be our certified logistics center in Georgia, where good-quality apples from other Georgian farms will be stored, and from where they will then be sent to the Dubai market,” said Vakhtang Gogaladze.

As Vakhtang Gogaladze emphasized, Eximcrop’s work is aimed at assisting in the sale of not only apples, but also any other Georgian agricultural and food products.

“We offer our services for all Georgian food producers – both fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as canned food, drinks, etc. For example, on behalf of our customer (a large European company), we exported Georgian nectarines to several European states last year. Although we do such orders, basically, our company is engaged in online services for agriculture and trade. We have various types of warehouses in Dubai that are licensed for the storage of any product – these are dry warehouses, warehouses with temperature control, and those for frozen products, through which we serve imports. We can organize the delivery of products, store them and, in accordance with the client’s contracts, distribute them in the local market. We also grant our consumers the right to use our license in Dubai (a license is required to trade there). This artificial intelligence-based technology promptly provides the client with data on the free space in our warehouses, eliminating the need to reserve it for a year – it is reserved only for a period when it is needed. The cost of warehousing for the client is reduced several times. At the same time, we may not charge a fee for warehousing and distribution in advance, a grace period of one month is possible,” he said.

Another of Eximcrop’s current projects, according to its representative, is the supply of Georgian blueberries to the Dubai market.

“This year we have entered into preliminary agreements with companies operating flights to Georgia, according to which we can order charter flights during the blueberry season. For one flight, 15 tonnes of berries will be enough. We are getting ready for the season,” Vakhtang Gogaladze said.


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