16 Mar 2023

Buyers in the fields to plan the 2023/24 Sekoya season

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Sekoya and Fall Creek hosted European buyers and producers at the spring edition of Field & Forum, the periodic commercial and varietal update event for operators at blueberry. The meeting, which was held at the EMEA headquarters where the U.S. company's demonstration field and nursery are also based, brought operators from Spain and the main production markets and regions to southern Spain.

The first day was devoted entirely to Sekoya, the exclusive program from which blueberries marketed under the Livie brand are selected.

Present for Italy was Carlo Lingua of RK Growers, whom Italian Berry interviewed exclusively.

NOT ALL SEKOYA BECOMES LIVIE

"Just as not all Cripps Pink apples become Pink Lady, so not all blueberries Sekoya apples become Livie," said Hans Liekens, Value Chain & Retail Manager at Sekoya. "Livie identifies consistent and reliable quality based on pulp texture, high caliber, superior taste, excellent appearance and long shelf life." Specifically, Livie will ensure caliber, firmness and taste (acidity and brix).

How do you reconcile the Livie brand with the other brands that characterize the product from the perspective of the manufacturer and distributor?

"The main purpose of Livie is to demonstrate that ensuring superior quality day in and day out is not only possible but can be guaranteed, and this is for 52 weeks of the year. Livie will be an 'on-pack quality logo' that is, a brand that goes alongside commercial brands to certify the presence of a quality ingredient, such as Intel does with its processors when it places its logo alongside those of computers produced by others."

Sekoya Beauty


What should a'retailer of the GDO expect?

"First and foremost, a satisfied consumer who increases their confidence and makes repeat purchases; thanks to Livie, the supermarket has a tool to increase sales by strengthening category management."

Does Livie also have a strategy toward the consumer?

"Livie will interact directly with consumers: we plan social media campaigns with a focus on an exploration-based experience that will explain what Livie is, where to find it, the benefits to consumers, and how Livie fits into their businesses in a fun way. The first campaign will be in Canada with the Longo's chain and will be supported by promotional materials, in-store shelf talkers, and social media."

At what stage is the development of the production base?

"From a production point of view, the Sekoya program is already widespread in all major producing countries (the United States, Chile, Peru, Europe, Africa): Sekoya members planted approved varieties in 18 different countries during 2022 for a total of about 10 million plants on about 2,000 hectares. With the goal of ensuring a continuous supply for 52 weeks a year, about 30,000 tons of blueberries from the Sekoya program have already been marketed in 2022."

THE VOICE OF THE PROTAGONISTS

In Italy, the Sekoya program is also spreading thanks to Rk Growers. In this exclusive interview Carlo Lingua of RK Growers explains Sekoya's strategies between Puglia, Sicily and Calabria while Estefania Rodriguez (Sekoya) explains the production and agronomic characteristics of Sekoya Pop and Sekoya Beauty.

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