GERMANY – Westfalia Fruit, a leading multinational supplier of fresh fruit and related products to international markets, has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in German fruit supplier Hausladen Fruchthandel.
Westfalia aims to leverage Hausladen’s acquisition to capitalise on the German retail avocado market and expand its position as a global avocado market leader.
The South African company has operations in all major origins, including southern Africa, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru and California in the US and boasts of the largest avocado-growing footprint in the world.
From this origins, company serves both retail and wholesale markets in the UK, Europe, Latin America, North America and southern Africa.
Founded in 1932, Hausladen supplies exotics such as avocado, mango and papaya, as well as southern European produce in Germany and other neighbouring markets such as Austria and Slovenia.
Commenting on the acquisition, Westfalia Fruit CEO Alk Brand said: “Germany is the third largest retail avocado market in Europe which has strong potential for further growth.”
“Our presence in this country is key to penetrating the market, supplying key customers and solidifying our leading EU presence. It also provides an important platform for our key growers globally,” Brand added.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hausladen’s founding family, including Andreas and Christoph Buchner, will remain with the business.
Christoph Buchner, who will continue to serve as CEO of the German entity, said: “This deal provides us with further growth opportunities to become the market leader in Germany and other targeted territories, and gives us access to an established and integrated supply chain with the capacity to expand.”
In an earlier interview with Fresh Plaza, Graham Young, Westfalia Fruit’s Regional Executive for Europe, said that “consumers’ love of avocados continues to grow, and we do not believe the market will be saturated throughout the year for some time.”
Graham noted that in the near term, the Netherlands is expected to continue to be the largest importer and exporter of fresh avocado in Europe.
“As demand continues to grow, we believe that every origin we work with will continue to expand. The Asian market, particularly China, is very exciting for us but suitable land and environment could be a limiting factory for large-scale expansion,” Graham added.
With an expanded presence in Europe through the acquition of Hausladen Fruchthandel, Westfalia will be better positions to handle the increased demand for produce both in Europe and in other countries globally.
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