Although the competition is more aggressive and last season was complicated, this year Sofruce is celebrating its 50th anniversary with determination and enthusiasm. It is preparing for the future by introducing several lines of development and launching a new brand. This will reinforce the good progress of Sofruce’s sales last year in all its product categories: vegetables grew by 14%, citrus fruit by 8% and other fruit by 7% in volume terms. Sofruce markets 55,000 tons, 45% in France and 55% to export markets, particularly Germany, Italy and Eastern Europe. Diversification is the keynote of the firm’s new commercial strategy. This season that means greater segmentation in tomatoes and growth in citrus fruit, kaki and certain vegetables. “Thanks to our know-how and client loyalty, Sofruce has become a leading name internationally,” said CEO Grégory Cébrian. The company’s sales of speciality tomatoes such as cherry, olivette and cocktail tomatoes have grown by 13%. It will be marketing 14,000 tons of tomatoes this year, including 4000 tons of speciality types.
A guarantee of quality and several lines of development
Sofruce aims to strengthen its specialisation in strawberries, soft fruit and tomatoes while expanding its range to 6 or 7 major categories, with year-round availability. Kakis have become another strategic product for the company, particularly in response to increasing demand in Eastern Europe.
“Kakis are increasingly successful and are helping us to win new clients,” Cébrian said. Stone fruit and melons also promise greater growth each season.
Vegetables such as courgettes, carrots and sweet peppers are growing strongly, thanks to their availability throughout the year. Citrus fruit have been a further major development area since the start of the season.
“Thanks to the trust our clients place in us, in just three and a half months we have doubled our total 2014/15 sales volume,” Cébrian said.
A new brand, a new promise
Sofruce is also preparing to launch a new ‘superior quality’ brand next season. This will be the beginning of a new stage as the family firm works to establish the Sofruce brand. The rationale for the new brand is to guarantee Sofruce’s commitment to a higher quality product and greater client loyalty. The Sofruce brand communication campaign will simultaneously target major buyers and consumers and their families.
“We are looking to market our main products year-round with a real quality guarantee,” Cébrian said.
Sofruce’s quality policy is based on two main criteria: a very demanding level of product selection at source (mainly Spain and Morocco) and strict compliance with the product supply chain procedures. This involves introducing upstream supplier specifications, only working with GLOBALG.A.P. certified growers, an internal Quality Manual and a qualified inspection service. Sofruce already guarantees all the food safety standards, with Bio certification since 2011 and IFS logistics certification since 2013.