`Conference Offers Strategies for Olive Oil Importing, Distribution - Olive Oil Times

Conference Offers Strategies for Olive Oil Importing, Distribution

By Vanessa Stasio
Apr. 9, 2014 22:58 UTC
Maria Reyes

Following the high-level talks on the first day of the NYIOOC, sev­eral notable speak­ers cap­tured the atten­tion of atten­dees on the sec­ond day of pre­sen­ta­tions with engag­ing dis­course on dis­tri­b­u­tion and import­ing. Audience mem­bers includ­ing olive oil pro­duc­ers, whole­salers and retail­ers had the oppor­tu­nity to hear insights from experts and edu­ca­tors on exe­cut­ing these crit­i­cal, and often tricky, busi­ness func­tions suc­cess­fully.

Maria Reyes, cat­e­gory man­ager of KeHE Distributors, out­lined essen­tial steps for secur­ing rela­tion­ships with dis­trib­u­tors. She empha­sized main­tain­ing detailed plans for one’s brand and estab­lish­ing ongo­ing, pro­duc­tive rela­tion­ships with bro­kers, brand man­agers, dis­trib­u­tors and retail­ers, depend­ing on the company’s unique needs and strate­gic plan. Reyes also encour­aged com­pa­nies to invest the time and money nec­es­sary to par­tic­i­pate in dis­trib­u­tor and trade con­fer­ences. Talk to any­one and every­one about your prod­uct, your story. Quality is so impor­tant and your story is even more impor­tant.”

John Sessler

The dis­cus­sion on dis­tri­b­u­tion was rounded out with com­men­tary from John Sessler, pres­i­dent of JCS Tradecom / ZOE Brands. He spoke of his own tri­als and tribu­la­tions launch­ing his brand of olive oil, Zoe, which he described as the finest qual­ity at an afford­able, every­day price.” Sessler nav­i­gated chal­lenges in devel­op­ing a long-term mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion­ship with a sin­gle pro­ducer, plac­ing his olive oil in select retail chan­nels, and oper­at­ing within a mar­ket in which other brands do not all abide by the same qual­ity stan­dards.

Lori Levy

Lori Levy, direc­tor of trade and prod­uct devel­op­ment at Fairway Market, took the stage to expertly address the tech­ni­cal­i­ties of com­ply­ing with import reg­u­la­tions. With a remark­able com­mand of the ins and outs of cus­toms, duties, taxes, and fees, Levy pro­vided the audi­ence with a wealth of prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion.

While the speak­ing events wrapped up on Wednesday evening, con­fer­ence atten­dees can look for­ward to tast­ing olive oils vying for gold at the 2014 International Olive Oil Competition on Thursday. Winners of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion will be announced Thursday evening and streamed live world­wide.


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