Tag International aims to boost its exports by 26% in 2017 through opening new markets in a number of African countries; however, the high airfreight costs limit the competitiveness of companies.
Ramy El Gergawi, chairperson of the company, noted that Tag exports all vegetables and fruits with the exception of potatoes, adding that total exports of the company in 2016 amounted to $1.725m (EGP 32m), with plans to boost exports to $2.2m in 2017.
Gergawi said that the flotation of the Egyptian pound has negatively impacted airfreight prices as the price of the US dollar increased from EGP 8.88 to EGP 18-19, while all packaging material prices also increased.
The company is seeking to expand into the African market, especially Ghana and Nigeria, according to Gergawi. Yet, he explained that the cost of airfreight is the most prominent challenge facing exporters, due to the lack of enough flights to African markets and the small size of aeroplanes, where a load does not exceed 500 kg.
He said that the company is currently exporting to several markets, including Germany, France, and England, along with counties in the gulf.
Founded in 1979, Tag has three subsidiaries: Tag Crops, Tag International, and Tag Air Transport.
Gergawi noted that the company’s packaging station has a different capacity from one product to another, reaching 300 tonnes for oranges and 40 tonnes for grapes.
Moreover, he called upon the bodies responsible for monitoring exports to ease measures on inspecting agricultural products, saying that procedures often take too much time, which impacts the quality of and damages the reputation of Egyptian products in foreign markets.
He pointed out that Tag, throughout its operational stages, ensures the quality of all phases starting from farms and harvest management, to packaging and shipping.