Behind the scenes with… Germán Román, an SVZ Buyer in Spain
At SVZ, we’re passionate about people, and the power of connection and collaboration in providing the highest quality, sustainably sourced fruit and vegetable ingredients. From our valued partners and customers to our hard-working colleagues, we’re passionate about growing better, together.
That’s why we’re shining a spotlight on our team and the work they do in a new series of interviews – so you can understand more about their background, role and motivations. For this Q&A, we sat down (virtually!) with Germán Román, our Spain-based Buyer.
What’s your background?
With a Life Sciences degree from the University of Seville, my professional experience has included quality assurance and product management roles across several multinational businesses – with a focus on sourcing fruit and vegetables. As Product Manager at Global Pacific Europe, for example, I managed the sourcing of fruits and vegetables for UK supermarket Morrisons.
I started my work here at SVZ, based in Spain, in December 2018 – and I’m rapidly approaching my third year at the company. I really couldn’t be happier. There’s a real ethos here of supporting each other and taking care of our partners and growers that is great to be a part of.
What does your job involve?
As a buyer for SVZ in Spain, I’m responsible for sourcing conventional strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for our global customers. My portfolio is, in fact, 60% berries! I’m in daily contact with growers and farmers across the region as I check the quality of the fruits and look to discover new suppliers and varieties. Typically, I spend just one third of my time in the office and the rest is spent on the fields with the farmers – a part of my role I really value!
I also have weekly meetings with the SVZ sales team to understand more about customer requirements and feedback from our partners. This is great as it means I’m always kept in the loop and understand the bigger picture – and so I can also ensure that customer requests are taken care of in the fields.
What are your predictions for the 2021/2022 season?
This season was very foggy and rainy – resulting in not enough sunny hours to ensure that the fruits reached their peak. We predict that a similar season will take place in 2022, and so we’re ready to adapt accordingly. However, every season is different, and turbulent weather conditions and unpredictable temperatures are rapidly becoming the norm – for example, it’s October and it’s currently 30 degrees Celsius right now in Spain!
As a way to counter our reliance on sunny seasons through the traditional harvest season of March to June, we are currently looking at sourcing berries from Portugal and Morocco as well, to sustain our inventory across the entire year.
Anything else you’d like to add?
At SVZ, we’re passionate about collaboration and close partnerships – it’s only through these types of connections that we can do what we do. In particular, I’d love to highlight the stellar work of our growers. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide the high-quality, delicious fruits and vegetable ingredients that we’re so well known for.
It’s thanks to team members like Germán that SVZ’s sustainably sourced, premium quality fruit and vegetable purees, concentrates and NFC juices meet our customers’ high expectations. To discover more about our processes and people, get in touch with the SVZ team today – or, to learn more about our ‘growing better together’ values, why not read our latest blog?