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Splendid focus on building direct retail sales

Splendid by Porvenir LLC “is focusing more on going direct to supermarkets,” according to Daniel Ibarra, president of the grower-shipper in Los Mochis, Sinaloa. “It is our strategy to increase our percentage of sales that are direct to supermarkets in the U.S., Canada and Europe.”

So far, about 80 percent of Splendid’s sales are to the U.S. But Splendid is increasing sales “to a number of supermarkets” in Canada. And the firm is also building direct sales to European retailers, via air cargo out of Mexico City. Splendid has shipped to Europe for three years. Given high freight costs, mango volumes are small but efficient, because of flying directly to specific customers in countries including Spain, France, Germany, Holland and Italy. For its European deal, Splendid ships Kent mangoes in six-kilo boxes from April into August.

Splendid-empty-packing-house-Daniel-IbarraDaniel Ibarra in his Los Mochis mango packinghouse, as it prepares for a new wintertime shipping season.Splendid’s headquarters is in Bruno, CA. Ibarra said the firm opened a second sales office in November at its massive Los Mochis packinghouse. Having a sales office on-site is important to have more direct information on the fruit. “We can be more market sensitive.”

While it’s expanding its product line, Splendid is best known for its massive mango business. Because of weather-related issues in Sinaloa, the firm’s Los Mochis mango volume dropped 10 percent in 2018 to 5.5 million boxes. “In 2019, I expect for us to be shipping at least seven million boxes.” He expects the crop will be a lot better and “we are working with more growers for more volume.”

The Los Mochis production area is fruit fly free, so mangos produced there need-not undergo the hot water treatment disinfestation process required in many other growing regions shipping to accommodate USDA APHIS phytosanitary regulations.

But, because Splendid ships mangos from those regions with fruit flies, Ibarra said it’s helpful ship to cold Canada, which is unconcerned with protecting its agricultural interests from fruit flies. For those shipments, Splendid uses packinghouses that are not equipped with hot water treatment facilities.

Splendid will begin its 2019 mango deal in Oaxaca, running from February into May. Michoacán mango growers will be shipping for Splendid from March into June and the Sinaloa deal will run from June into September.

“We will carry more yellow mangos than last year.” Chiapas is a big producer of the yellow Honey mangos. “But we are still concentrating on red rounds,” which are more common in Oaxaca and other production areas.

Ibarra said Splendid is importing Peruvian mangos this January.

The firm is adding green beans, produced in Los Mochis, to its product line this year. That deal began in December and will run until the first week of April.

This winter will bring Splendid’s second sweet corn deal, which expected to run from late December into March. The sweet corn is also grown around Los Mochis.

Splendid also ships Persian limes from Veracruz and Oaxaca.

The firm will also handles limited volumes of Michoacán avocados, as the opportunity arises with associated Michoacán mango growers.