"Our great strength lies just-in-time logistics. Our core competence is that we, as a full-range supplier, can deliver the entire product range to our customers in just a few hours," says Renato Häfliger, Managing Director of Gebr Gentile from Näfels in Switzerland.
Some 50 percent of the goods come from Switzerland itself; the other 50 percent is sourced from abroad. “As soon as Swiss fruits and vegetables become available, we will switch over to this. On the one hand, this is related to our guarded borders and possible tariffs, but on the other hand, we also see a steadily growing demand for regional products,” said Häfliger. Import from abroad would be profitable only in very few cases.
The country’s fruit and vegetable production is in its peak season. “However, we also had problems with the weather, as the heat has slowed down the growth of crops and it is difficult to meet demand.” Häfliger is concerned about shortages, but not worried: “We have been working for decades with well-practiced procurement channels and we will have the entire range available, even under difficult conditions.”
In general, the focus is increasingly on regionality: “Here it is not only important that the fruits and vegetables come from Switzerland, but the regions themselves and their distance from the final POS play a role. The geographical location of these labels is very narrow, and everything is about sustainability. ” The regional product is still a niche market in wholesale, but the CEO expects further growth in the future.
In addition to the regional goods, Häfliger recognizes a rather surprising new retail favorite: “In recent years, we have seen a sharp increase in pomegranates, which are sourced from Spain, Israel or Turkey, depending on the season This product is going very well, growing year by year. ” Although they are not large quantities, the development is nevertheless interesting. The main buyers of these exotics are retailers.