With turnover growth rates of more than 10%, 2020 started as well as 2019 ended. That’s not to say we have no concerns whatsoever. About China for example, Brazil’s most important trading partner. Fears about the coronavirus, as well as falling commodity prices, have led to a drop of the national currency, real, against the dollar and the euro.
It has resulted in cost increases for growers that are reliant on imports, and the negative effect it might have on our economic growth raises further concerns. Hopefully, the coronavirus will be under control soon and perhaps we’ll be able to say it wasn’t all that bad after all. Brazil certainly has the growth potential!
We’re getting ready to introduce an important improvement to our services. From March, we’ll deliver all auction presale transactions to customers’ boxes as soon as the products arrive at the auction or from stock. I’m convinced this will give a real boost to the turnover of our auction presale.
There will be four member meetings this week and our customers are also informed in detail. This will allow growers to sell from stock at the auction all the time. Everything will be centrally delivered to the auction. A great improvement of our services and one that everyone’s looking forward to!
We’re also installing the first solar panels on our roof this week. When it comes to solar energy, Brazil has always been behind, but we’re catching up now. Our objective for the coming years is to generate most of the energy we need by ourselves. In March, we’re also going to dig a large pond next to our entrance for the collection of rainwater. This will allow us to reuse the water instead of discharging it in the nearby river. We’re becoming more and more sustainable!
To keep our members up to date with all the innovations, we’re organising several meetings the coming weeks. Growers from each of the different regions are invited for a full-day programme, which includes a guided tour and explanations about the various processes, systems and departments. We’re hoping to get the members more involved in the cooperative and ultimately, see the attendance of member meetings go up.
We’re also electing new board members in March. This is the last time the election takes place after a four-year period. From next year, we’ll have annual elections for one or two (at the most) positions. So, if we wanted to make any drastic changes, this would be our last chance.
Valentine’s Day isn’t widely celebrated here. The Brazilians care more about the upcoming carnival. Our first important peak day is Women’s Day on the 8th of March. 2020 is a promising year for Brazil. Let’s see if we can continue going in the right direction!
André van Kruijssen,
General manager Veiling Holambra, Brazil
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