History and company profile
Fortuna Fruits Continental BV was founded by Ger Slobbe on 1 November 1981. The desire of tomato producers on the Canary Islands to set up their own sales office prompted him to decide to set up his own firm. There were already various import and export companies prior to 1981 who traded in Canary Island tomatoes, but Ger Slobbe opted for his own firm in the Netherlands in order to gain more control over quality and monitoring.
It turned out to be a sound choice, since Fortuna Fruits Continental BV enjoyed steady growth during the 1980s and became a bye-word in the world of tomatoes and cucumbers. Fortuna thus grew to be one of the leading companies in the Canary Island trade.
In 1988 son Gert-Jan joined the firm in order to learn the ropes from his father, and not much later, in 1994, eldest son Marco also joined. The sons eagerly utilised their father’s knowledge and experience, from which they still benefit to this day.
2001 turned out to be an important year for Fortuna. Fortuna Fruits Continental BV merged with Frutos Canarios BV in order to combine forces, thus creating today’s Fortuna Frutos Continental BV. Ger Slobbe died in that year, but not before the negotiations about the merger had been more or less completed. The sons are continuing the business in the spirit of their father.
At the start of this millennium the number of produces on the Canary Islands fell, and therefore also Fortuna Frutos’ volume of imports. In order to counteract the downward spiral in volume Marco and Gert-Jan decided in 2006 to enter into a partnership with Grupo Paloma, the leading tomato producer in the Spanish Mazarrón & Aguilas region. This meant that in addition to the tomatoes from the Canary Islands, tomatoes were also imported from the Iberian peninsula. There was also an intensive collaboration with a Dutch tomato specialist, Gebroeders Duijvenstijn in Pijnacker.
Fortuna Frutos managed to grow despite the setbacks, including with the Canary Island tomatoes. This was due to the accelerated introduction of new technology in the cultivation on the Canary Islands. Fortuna Frutos’ producers were thereby able to increase the yield and supply a high quality reliable product furnished with every certification imaginable. Combined with the tomatoes from the Spanish and Dutch producers Fortuna Frutos is therefore able to provide a constant supply of high quality tomatoes throughout the year.
The growth continues, since Gert-Jan and Marco Slobbe formed Fortuna Frutos International BV on 1 September 2013 in partnership with Stephane Rion. The good name and the associated selling power which Fortuna Frutos has built in the market is being expanded with contacts and suppliers of other products. This is a new development which will assure the company of prospects for the coming years, since Fortuna Frutos now also supplies other products alongside tomatoes such as peppers, courgettes, cucumbers and aubergines. This development and expansion of the range meets a long-held wish amongst Fortuna Frutos’ regular customers, who have often been doing business with the company since it was founded.