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International trade

BAMA is a major player – not just in Norway, but in many local communities around the world. We have around 260 skilled producers spread across five continents who supply us with fruit, vegetables and berries.

International trade

Good relationships and rapid innovation

We have faced multiple challenges in recent years. We have overcome them thanks to good supplier relationships, rapid innovation and excellent cooperation in the supply chain. Our ability to quickly mobilise our resources and find new solutions helped us once again in 2022.

And that was a good but challenging year. We supplied fruit and vegetables from a number of exciting sources to our customers. At the same time, it was clear that the pandemic would impact the first month or two of the year, with several restrictions remaining in place until February. The terrible news that Russia had invaded Ukraine came just a few weeks later.

Whereas the pandemic led to many people treating themselves to little luxuries, price consciousness was the order of the day in 2022. Rising interest rates, persistently high inflation and price increases had Norwegians tightening their belts. This resulted in products in the value-for-money group attracting more attention, so we increased our focus on them. Tomatoes in 500 g tubs sold extremely well, as did apples and carrots in the budget category, loose produce and round tomatoes.

The situation affected most product categories and necessitated a great deal of innovation. We found new solutions for both the short and long term. In order to satisfy the market while deviating as little as possible from our original plans, we changed a number of specifications and countries of origin. We also increased our flexibility with regard to sizes and units, with long sweet peppers being a good example. We changed the packaging and increased the weight to provide scope for new ways of packing them. This flexibility benefited consumers and producers alike.

During spring and summer, it became apparent that the year would also be affected by extreme weather conditions across Europe. This took the form of sandstorms and heavy rain in March and April, followed by a heatwave in the summer. This inevitably impacted a number of products. We discovered that the intense heat led to lower melon production, as well as more pips in some grape varieties. Some trees ‘protected themselves’ by producing less fruit. In order to safeguard deliveries, we came up with alternatives in the form of new suppliers and countries of origin. In recent years, we have made a concerted effort to diversify the supply chain, as a result of which we have identified several new partners for the future.

BAMA has unwavering requirements with respect to quality and ethics, and we demand the same from old and new suppliers alike. We are therefore working continuously to ensure that they understand our values and what we require in terms of social and environmental standards, quality, food safety and traceability, for example. With 260 producers on five continents, ethical trading is a cornerstone of BAMA’s business model and presence in the international market. This involves a strong commitment to promoting sustainability and good working conditions in the countries we trade with, and ensuring transparency along our entire value chain. Any non-conformances with our requirements are resolved using a dialogue- and process-oriented approach. A continuous focus on this area is vital if we are to continue being a leading company in fruit, vegetables and fresh produce.

We employ a lot of experienced and dedicated people who have been with the company for a long time. Together with unique cooperation in the supply chain and long-standing supplier relationships, this equips us to meet our commitments even in demanding circumstances.

More meetings were held in person again in 2022. Maintaining good, close contact with our suppliers is important to us, and in-person meetings are vital. Digital platforms make an important contribution too, and the pandemic gave us valuable experience in how to use them intelligently and effectively. All this relationship-building work results in mutual respect, loyalty and high priority in challenging times. 

Own packing lines for apples

As in 2021, we continued packing Pink Lady and Ambrosia apples in Lier.

In 2022, we packed around 1,400 tonnes of Pink Lady apples, which we source from Italy or Chile, depending on the season. We also ran pilots for two-packs of apples for the HoReCa market. 

Norwegians love stone fruit

Oxysolar plums in particular experienced a surge in popularity.

The red variety from Italy is selling well. We have now been supplying high-quality imported plums via our own brands for a long time. These are new, promising varieties, and we see excellent potential for further development of this product category in conjunction with the right suppliers. Other stone fruits, such as apricots and flat peaches, also from Italy, are doing well too. Their success is due to good availability, brand building and in-store exposure, with the results exceeding all expectations. This is a very exciting product category that we look forward to developing further. 

Large tubs of cherry tomatoes

These have become very popular among price-conscious Norwegians.

The budget category received a boost, together with other alternatives that offer value for money.

This resulted in a bumper year for cherry tomatoes in 500 g tubs, which showed double digit growth. Tomatoes in these tubs come primarily from Morocco and Spain.

Broccolini races into the spotlight

Broccoli’s little brother achieved double-digit growth.

The vegetable is reminiscent of broccoli, but has a longer, thinner stem and smaller head. It has really started to become established on the market and showed promising growth in 2022. The task now is to continue working to increase production in both Norway and Spain, and so ensure even broader appeal. Things are looking very promising, and we are delighted to have succeeded in introducing yet another ‘new’ and exciting vegetable to the Norwegian market.

Xpol expands in Finland

Dutch flower company Xpol BV is expanding its flower and pot plant operations in Finland.

Xpol Finland Oy was officially up and running on 1 April. BAMA owns a 50 per cent stake in the company, which is an important part of its international business.

Xpol Finland is based in Helsinki and specialises in supplying cut flowers and potted plants to large supermarket chains. The company has increased its involvement in the Finnish market in order to further optimise the supply chain from producer to market. Moving parts of the production process as close to the market as possible improves freshness and quality for the consumer.

BAMA’s international business

The Group comprises wholly and partly owned companies in Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. These include Nature’s Pride, Xpol, Artic Spòlkâ and BAMA Nordic.

Nature’s Pride, which was established in 2001, is located in the Netherlands. The company is one of the leading suppliers of exotic fruits and berries, and the leading avocado supplier in the European market. It has been ripening mangos and avocados since 2005. BAMA currently owns 99 per cent of the company.

Xpol B.V. is located in the Netherlands and delivers fresh flowers, mainly from Africa. However, purchases from Europe have become increasingly important, as consumers demand more locally grown produce. Arctic Spòlkâ in Poland focuses on the sale and delivery of mushrooms, blueberries and apples. The company was established in 1998 and integrated into BAMA’s international corporate structure in 2005.

BAMA Nordic comprises BAMA Foods AB, BAMA Fresh Cuts AB and BAMA Fresh Cuts OY, among others. BAMA Foods sells convenience products adapted for sale in convenience stores and other retail outlets. BAMA Fresh Cuts in Sweden and Finland process fresh vegetables. They produce mainly for their domestic markets, but also sell to customers in Denmark, Germany and the Baltic region.