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Mauritanian retailer imports 100% of its perishables

Supermarché Salam, which imports all of its fresh produce, prides itself on its attention to detail throughout the cold chain

Located in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, Salam is a supermarket with a two-floor 800 m2 sales space. It retails all kinds of food and household products.

The company imports fresh fruit and vegetables in mixed containers and handles different types of sales to consumers: retail, wholesale and half wholesale. In other words, people can purchase in units as well as in medium-sized or large volumes.

“All fruits and vegetables are important, because Mauritania does not have the climate or soil conditions to produce this type of food. Nevertheless, the most important in terms of consumption are citrus and apples,” said director general Hassan Fawaz.

Supermarché Salam started out in the importing business 50 years ago. Naturally, as distributor for Leader Price over the past 20 years, its main source was France, but some time ago it started working with Spain, particularly with Las Palmas and Valencia, which account for half of its total imports. 

Increased trade with Morocco

The firm also buys in fruit from Morocco. The construction of a road linking the two countries has made business between them faster and cheaper.

Mauritania is a very hot country and Supermarché Salam stands out from its competitors by paying a lot of attention to the cool chain, making every effort to preserve the quality of fresh produce throughout its tansit.

“Customers come to our market because they know the products don’t suffer from any alteration in temperature, that everything is done hygienically and that they are going to find the best quality,” Fawaz said.

“Although consumption of imported products is everincreasing, there is also an economic crisis, which has obliged people to change their purchasing habits over the past 2-3 years, choosing cheaper substitute products or the same ones, but in smaller amounts,” she said.

This article appeared in edition 146 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more from that edition online here.