Vanguard International’s roots with Egyptian growers’ dates back to 2012. Egypt quickly became a natural fit with Vanguard’s global goals and has increased year-on-year ever since, delighting customers around the world.
Citrus and grapes are two vitally important categories for Vanguard. Egypt has become a central partner in the growth and quality of these produce streams.
Sourcing from Egypt is handled from Vanguard International office in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a natural synergy as the Egyptian Citrus seasons wind down as the South African citrus programs are ramping up.
The Vanguard Egypt team is spearheaded by Pierre Coetzee, Assistant Manager and Neil Truter, Quality Assurance and Grower Relations Manager.
In the Egyptian fruit exporting industry, citrus is number one. Egypt growers offer a diverse varietal mix of citrus including Navels, Navel Lates, Valencias, Grapefruit, Mandarins, and Lemons.
The top countries for Egyptian fruit exports historically have been Russia, the Middle East, Europe, and the UK. In the past few years the market focus for Egyptian citrus has changed significantly to include core markets in China and Southeast Asia. With Vanguard being specialists in these markets, we have been able to add significant value for our Egyptian growers and customers.
Our team in Egypt includes several growers/packer/shippers, most of whom own their groves and packing houses. Pierre and Neil have dedicated time to travel in Egypt and have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet with growers and see first-hand the growing/packing operations.
“When you visit our Egyptian growers’ farms there is a strong feeling of family,” shared Pierre Coetzee. “There is a deep caring for the agriculture team of local’s who have been on the farm a long time.”
While Citrus has long been a focus in Egypt, the region has come into their own as a leading table grape producer in the past five years too. Previously, the region focused on more ‘traditional’ varieties, however, Egyptian grape growers are moving rapidly into the IP varieties that aligns with the global market demand and Vanguard’s grape strategy.
Beyond just the obvious synergy in citrus and table grape commodities, there are many attributes that make Egyptian producers and Vanguard International a natural fit. Both are driven by relationships, and a commitment to care and nurture those relationships. Add in a healthy obsessive focus on attention to detail and communication, and an understanding of the critical nature of a well-managed supply chain, this grows into a partnership for success for all parties involved, including the growers, packers, Vanguard, and our customers around the world.