Company story:

Removing barriers: Brazil remains open for Greek canned peaches

Removing barriers: Brazil remains open for Greek canned peaches

The Export Manager

My name is Melina Grigoriadou and I work as an export manager in a canned fruit manufacturing factory of P.PAVLIDES SA. I am married to Giannis Vasiliou and I am a proud mother of two sons, Christos and Jason.

The Company

It has been an excellent opportunity for me to work in a canned manufacturing factory, which produces canned peaches, apricots and fruit cocktail for the European, the Asian and Americas markets.

We currently export 60% of our production outside Europe, notably Asia and Latin America (i.e. Colombia, Peru, Brazil). This has helped our company to support my job and hire additional colleagues.

Our industry is a difficult one. Most production takes place in two months (July and August). Fresh peaches and apricots need to be put inside the tin in less than 24 hours. It is also totally dependent on what nature can give us each year. Our raw material can be scarce one season and abundant the next.

International markets difficult to conquer

Since I manage the export department, I know that our company is facing more and more difficulties in terms of market access barriers in third countries.

Creating and implementing a marketing strategy can be challenging. Therefore, it is of vital importance for us that such market access barriers are tackled rapidly, in order to maintain a resilient supply chain.

Brazil – good market about to close 

Our company has had a presence in Brazil for many years. When Brazil decided to increase its import duties on canned peaches to 55% it was very bad news for us.

We could no longer export most of our products there. 

Our headquarters and the associations representing us raised these concerns within the EU's Market Access Partnership.

As a result, the EU managed to remove canned peaches from the list of products with high duties. This opens opportunities for us again.

 Some barriers still prevail

Even though, the current import tariff of 35% is still very high. We hope that in the future the EU can remove or lower this tariff through a trade agreement.

We understand the EU is negotiating with Mercosur countries, including Brazil, and we hope this deal will help us to increase our sales, maintaining jobs and supporting agricultural income in our region.

As head of the export department, I lead a wonderful team of highly qualified young people and experienced professionals. Collaborating with all of them has made me care for them, their goals, their families.

Any help we can get from the EU to promote our business in the world markets is most welcome, as it leads to more and better job opportunities in our region, North Greece, which has been most severely hit by the economic crisis.

 

The view of the industry - Greek Canners’ Association

Pavlides company is one of the most active companies in our Association. They are fearless in pursuing new markets all around the world. This is why we get a lot of feedback from them when it comes to learning about market access barriers in many markets.

When P.PAVLIDES SA informed us about market access barriers in Brazil, we did not hesitate to inform our European organisation PROFEL and use the framework of the Market Access Partnership to report this issue to the Commission immediately. The EU then raised this issue with Brazil, eventually resolving the problem.

We are glad that our joint work has contributed to the resolution of the barrier and increased the export opportunities of P.PAVLIDES SA and supported the jobs of the factory.

P.PAVLIDES SA however is far from being the only one who benefitted from the removal of this barrier. Taken together, our sector employs 3,000 workers and contributes to the EU economy with a positive trade balance of hundreds of million per year.

There are 15 SMEs overall in the Greek Canners’ Association - EKE, the growth and jobs of which are all supported by the positive results of the EU's Market Access Strategy. The years of the economic crisis were very hard for Greek businesses and their employees and suppliers, farmers in our case. Being able to export our products outside EU is the key for our survival and development.

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