PODCAST - Fruitbox 60 - Juan Gonzalez Pita, Salix Fruits
The co-founder of one of the world's newest fresh produce traders explains how it achieved so much in just a few years
Long distances can always be overcome in the fresh produce trade. Juan Gonzalez Pita has proven that beyond doubt since he co-founded import-export firm Salix Fruits around ten years ago.
From small beginnings in his home country of Argentina, the group has become a key player in several of the Northern Hemisphere’s fresh produce markets.
At the time, together with co-founder Luis Elortondo, Gonzalez was encouraged by what he describes as untapped opportunities for growers in lots of emerging markets, such as the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.
“People were not paying attention to this,” he tells Chris White in the latest episode of Fruitnet’s conversation series Fruitbox, “so I just focused there, and relying on technology first we started with email marketing campaigns.”
Operating from a tiny office in Buenos Aires, the universal accessibility of new online platforms was instrumental in the company’s initial expansion. But in contrast with previous advances in global communications like the telephone or fax machine, the internet gave Gonzalez a chance to reach people he didn’t even know existed.
“I started making Google AdWords,” he recalls, a move which was relatively unheard of at the time. Soon, this began to generate “a lot of leads for very little money” from interested parties in places like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Middle East.
Gonzalez goes on to explain how the company, now a major international player with offices in the US, South Africa and Argentina, intends to keep growing in the years to come.
He talks about the importance of people and trust in the business, the challenges of international travel, the pressures of dealing with perishable products, and effect of changing demand in the business.
Hosted by Chris White in London, Fruitbox now attracts a big audience across the global fruit and vegetable business that tunes in every week to hear exclusive interviews and expert analysis. Produced by Fruitnet Media International, the show is essential listening for everyone in the fresh produce industry.
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Salix is a global import-export company of fresh fruit, an American Company based in Atlanta. It also has offices in Philadelphia, Chicago, South Africa and Argentina. The firm has more than 15 years of experience in the fresh fruit business. Recently added a new business unit, processed foods.
Salix has a wide portfolio of over 25 produce items, but focuses on apples, lemons, oranges, tangerines, pears and grapes. The company works with more than 80 loyal growers in 18 countries, and 400 customers in 57 countries.
Salix was founded in 2013 by Juan González Pita and Luis Elortondo.