Peter wants to start a business as an avocado vendor, and like most owners, he searches the web and clicks on the first company that pops up. Peter proceeds to request a quote for avocados and send his first deposit.
A week later, he hasn’t heard from his ‘distributor’. He tries to email or call them but hears nothing.
But then it dawns on him; he was conned. And now he can’t get a refund for his money or the avocados!
This article aims to ensure you don’t end up like Peter, robbed, and devastated.
In this article, we’ll guide you on how to choose the right avocado distributor. A distributor that aligns with your business and customer needs. A distributor who’s flexible and can scale with you in the future.
If you’d love to partner with a leading avocado supplier, contact us at FrutPlanet. We have been helping business owners with the logistics of sourcing and exporting avocados for years. What’s better, we have an extensive distribution network.
Step 1: Determine Your Business Requirements
Which kind of avocados do you want? As a business owner, you need clear needs on the variety, quantity, quality, and order frequency. In addition, you need to figure out whether the distributor handles organic or conventional avocados. Do their ripeness, packaging, and other preferences match what you’re looking for?
Any business should have clear requirements fueling its operations, even before the owner chooses a distributor. And if you don’t, you may make inevitable mistakes that could eventually destroy your business. If you don’t, dozens of resourceful articles online guide you on how to do it.
Business requirements are important details gathered from your customers that help in your product’s success. In this case, you must understand your customers to know what avocados they want. If you sell ripe and unripe avocados, you should probably have data on the variety they love most.
Once your business requirements are ready, it’s time to match them with what the other distributors are offering. If your business requirements indicate that you need more ripe Hass avocados, you will seek a distributor who supplies precisely that.
But how do you even find this distributor? Well, you do some research.
Step 2: Research and Find Reputable Distributors
Researching reputable distributors is the most intensive process in looking for a distributor. Luckily, their mechanisms, including the internet, make the process even easier. But what do you base your research on?
A solid reputation in the industry is one of the best factors to look for in avocado distributors. You need a professional distributor who understands the supply chain process.
One of the best ways to discover a distributor’s reputation is by asking for recommendations from other businesses. Ask competitors how they found a reliable distributor. Other places you can ask for recommendations include peer-to-peer networks.
For example, most clients ask for anonymous Reddit and social media reviews. As a result, you will get unbiased opinions from people who have previously worked with the company. In addition, you can check Google reviews for the company and other review websites.
Online reviews should show a company’s track record for consistency, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Be keen and read through the negative and positive reviews and profile each probable distributor depending on their strengths and weakness. Do some SWOT analysis!
Once that’s done, align the distributor that matches and proceed to the next step; asses their avocados.
Step 3: Assess their Product Quality:
By this point, you know your business requirements and have settled on several probable distributors. It’s time to reach out to them for samples. In this step, you need to evaluate the quality of avocados by the distributor. But what are you specifically looking for?
Our first step was identifying what your business needs. At this moment, you should have a checklist of what you can and can’t compromise. Common aspects that should never be missed in the checklist include freshness, taste, appearance, and distributor consistency.
It is possible that you won’t find a distributor that offers everything that you need. Most avocado-supplying companies have their misses and hits—for example, most exporters in Kenya, including FrutPlanet exporters, supply unripe avocados. However, we have worked with many avocados willing to compromise on ripeness.
Be conscious of what you can and can’t compromise.
We have many recommendations if you aren’t sure what to compromise yet. But first, never compromise on quality, maturity, and size. The three aspects fuel the avocado industry and could, in a blink, hurt your business.
Some aspects you can compromise on include ripeness and opt to handle it instead. Why do we say so? Well, ripe avocados are hectic to transport and increase the percentage rate of damage caused.
Another factor you can compromise on is where you source your avocados. Most avocado vending businesses in the United States often source avocados from Mexico. However, we have recently started exporting avocados for business in the US, especially when Mexico has a low season. As a business owner, you should widen your sourcing regions for risk and all-year-round distribution.
Once you have accessed the samples, compared them with your business requirement, and have only a few distributors remaining, check their certifications.
Step 4: Check Certifications and Compliance
By now, your bloated list of prospective avocado distributors should have less than ten distributors remaining. And this step should trim the list even further!
Before transacting with any ‘avocado distributor’, you must check their certifications that they are certified to distribute fruits and comply with the same. But what do you look out for in this step?
The most common certifications to look out for include Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Ask the distributor how their company and logistical processes comply with the certifications.
In addition, check certifications from the government and other regulatory bodies from the region you’re sourcing from. For example, in Kenya, an avocado distributor must be certified by the Horticultural Crop Development Authority(HCDA), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service(KEPHIS), Euro 1 certification(for Europe Market), and GlobalGAP, among others.
Certifications ascertain that the business is committed to supplying healthy, organically grown products. They vary depending on the location of the avocado distributor.
Ask the avocado distributor to show you the certification (but they should be publicly available on their website). Either way, you can’t take the research further and confirm with the relevant authorities whether the avocado distributor is registered with them. Checking with the authorities is essential, especially if you want to commit to a distributor for the long term.
Once all that ticks, it’s time you understand your avocado distributor’s inner operations. You must understand their supply chain, deliverables, pricing, and more.
Step 5: Evaluate their Supply Chain and Sourcing
Only some avocado distributors handle the production of avocados. Most distributors, including FrutPlanet exporters, source avocados from the growers, process them, and deliver them to you. We bridge the avocado business, helping them with logistics, and the growers, offering them the market.
Therefore, inquiring about the distributor’s sourcing practices and location is important. You should work with a distributor with a short supply chain and be hands-on with the growers. A short supply chain means you, as the client, get friendly avocado prices. On the other hand, a distributor who has touch with the growers understands their growing practices.
Your distributor must understand the growers’ farming practices as they can guarantee you organic sourcing. For you to understand how important supply chain and sourcing are, we’ll take you through our own here at FrutPlanet Exporters.
FrutPlanet minimizes the supply chain as much as possible by handling all the logistics involved. We constantly remain in touch with our farmers throughout the growing and harvesting seasons. Once the season peaks, our exports visit the grower and assess the quality and readiness of the fruits for harvest.
Once our experts confirm that the fruits are ready, a team visits the grower to discuss the pricing and harvest the avocados on the same day. The fruits are then transported to our warehouse for processing, packaging, and delivery.
At FrutPlanet exporters, we keep in touch with the farmers in our database. We habitually offer them training sessions, both in-house and outdoors, to ensure they understand our farming practices. That way, we guarantee business owners who source from our quality and the grower’s fair compensation.
Step 6: Pricing, Logistics, and delivery capabilities
It’s time to ask the distributor for a quotation and their delivery timelines. This step aims to assess their logistical capabilities and ability to deliver the fruits to your location of choice. Also, hopefully, check their pricing terms and whether you can afford it.
Some key aspects to check out in this step include the distributor’s transportation infrastructure, minimum order, distribution network, and efficient on-time delivery.
These aspects are crucial for a cohesive working environment between you and the distributor. Clarifying everything from the on-start prevents future misunderstandings. If the distributor can’t meet your order, it is time to explore other companies or at least agree on how they’ll meet the orders.
Another aspect to check before choosing your distributor is pricing. Obtain quotes from your several distributors by now and compare their pricing structures. Break the costs down and ask your distributor questions. Keep a good balance between the cost and quality of your distributors. Discuss payment terms, discounts, and any additional fees or charges.
Once you and the distributors it’s time to request a quote for avocados. We call this the trial period. You make small orders before committing to a long-term contract during this time. The steps aren’t over yet, but you can only access the last step with time and depending on your business goals.
If you’re looking for distributors or would love to interact with one, contact FrutPlanet exporters today. We are one of the leading exporters in Kenya for fruits and vegetables. We have been sourcing and processing orders in bulk for years and can deliver globally. We have an extensive network of organic avocado growers and a global distribution network.
Step 7: Examine the Customer support and Long-term partnership
Customer service is one of the most important aspects to consider from your distributor. An ideal distributor should have several customer support channels that are prompt and efficient. You may never know when you need help, so look for a distributor who is responsive, communicative, and willing to address any concerns or issues.
Be keen on how your distributor handles queries before and after ordering. Some distributors are often very responsive before ordering, but they disappear after you’ve sent the order deposit.
In addition, once you’ve established a distributor with great work ethics, scalability, and flexibility, collaborate with them. Flexibility and scalability are key to the growth of your business. You need someone who can handle your business growth and supply avocados in bulk.
Choosing the right avocado distributor has more intricacies than meets my eye. What’s worse, it could build or destroy your business. Therefore, you should be in the process and evaluate every detail.
Suppose you’d love to partner with an avocado distributor for your business in the short-term or long-term, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a quote for avocados today. We are a leading avocado distributor and supplier and have a global network.
If you’d love to know more about avocado prices in Kenya before requesting a quote, check our guide to which avocado price per Kg is best in Kenya.