I interviewed Manelle Mairif who discussed How Trading Companies Offer Solutions for Small Producers .
Manelle, I’m looking forward today to hearing your views on how trading companies offer solutions for small producers.
Thank you. Trading companies are very helpful to small producers because we provide them with the tools to have their products exported. It’s very costly for them to hire people to do the whole exportation process and international selling, so as a trading company, what we usually do is have to do search to get the product across the border so other consumers can benefit from it.
Which part of the world does your company work in?
We work mainly in North America and Europe, but we’re located in Ecuador.
Regarding what trading companies can offer to small producers, do you have any specific examples?
Basically, I can talk to you about Quinoa producers, for example. Most Quinoa producers live in very far-away areas; they don’t really have a lot of access to logistics, so it’s very hard for them to sell abroad. Usually, what happens is that they sell to bigger Quinoa producers who take their production and mix it with their own, and they get a very small price for it; they don’t really get high prices for it. When a trading company buys from them, the trading company offers both transportation for them and a fair price for the production.
How is that done effectively?
Basically, in terms of cost reduction, let’s say we have three Quinoa producers. Instead of having them hire a trucking company themselves, you just use the same truck that goes to each farm and takes the product from them.
That sounds like an interesting business model. Where do you see the trends in the future regarding trading companies? Is it growing? Is it a service that will increasingly be demanded?
It depends. For example, if you have a trading company—most people think trading companies are just buying the product and reselling it with a margin, but it’s not really what trading companies should do. Trading companies should offer solutions for both the customer and the producers. It’s helpful for the producers because they get the product across instead of having their product labeled with another company, and it’s convenient for customers because they get several products all consolidated into one, so it’s more cost-effective. Trading companies should offer more services to their clients and producers.
How do you handle logistics for your customers?
I manage them internally in terms of national trucking companies. To be quite honest, I’ve been in the trade for years, so it’s really easy for me; I already know who to talk with, who to contact. What we do is consolidate the product here, and we just ship it in one big shipment for each customer instead of having several shipments from several producers sent; we just send one big shipment for them.
Oh, great. Where are your typical shipments from and the destinations?
Usually North America and Europe. Most of the products are in the Asian region. Unless the amounts are pretty big in terms of reducing cost, we’ll ship them to * (4:22—unclear) in order to have maritime shipments. It basically depends on the client and the amount.
Can you provide a brief background of yourself?
I’ve been working as a trader for over eight years. I started in the flower business, and I recently switched the products I’m offering. I changed the product catalog less than a year ago. I’m expanding to new products besides flowers.
Thanks for sharing today.
Right, thank you.
About Manelle Mairif
General Manager at A+Group