The Israelis Who Sell Leaves in Vietnam
TAP, short for Tshuva Agricultural Projects, an agriculture company specializing in hydroponic systems, has succeeded in penetrating leading markets in Latin America and Europe, and in recent years has developed its market in Southeast Asia. With the cooperation of the Israel Economic Attaché in Vietnam and the Israel Export Institute, TAP closed a large project in Vietnam worth $25 million. TAP continues to realize healthy growth in this region.
"2BFresh" says Uzi Tshuva, CEO and owner of TAP, "is a leading company in Israel and around the world in raising micro-leaves. These products are available today mainly in restaurants, but can also be found in selected supermarkets and local groceries." Tshuva explains that their method of growing on detached bedding, or hydroponics, allows for very rapid growth that does not allow pests and diseases to develop. "From sowing to harvesting, we go through a total of ten to fourteen days and we do not really need pesticides at all. There is just not time for bugs to arrive." Teshuva notes that the differences between micro-coriander, or micro-mustard--in summer and winter--are not noticeable at all. "It's a simple product that becomes a sought-after gourmet item because we grow it in this way. All the taste is concentrated in the small leaves, along with their minerals, vitamins and other healthy properties. You do not need to eat a 400g salad to get he same nutritional values." "In the beginning, it was difficult for the company to market our micro-leaves abroad, especially in Europe where we compete with local producers, who grow and sell living micro-greens still in the pot," comments Shai Zeltzer, a VP in the company. "We managed to prove that we can supply the same level of freshness--and sometimes a higher level of freshness--to the end customer with our cut, cleaned and ready-to-use micro-greens. In most cases the end customer does not recognize the difference between a product that he picks from a small, disposable pot and 2BFresh micro-greens that were harvested in Israel several days earlier."
It should be noted that today there is a strong global trend to seek solutions to farming methods that combine food safety, water savings, and environmentally friendly techniques. "The methods we are developing provide a solution for all of these things together," explains Avner Shohat, CEO of the company.
Israeli pride "The idea is to take local agriculture to the highest levels," adds Shohat. "In almost every country we enter, as soon as our customers hear that we are from Israel, they already understand that we can offer them high level agricultural solutions. Israeli agriculture has a very good reputation and this makes it easier to enter a new region."
The global micro-leave market is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. "We have seen a very significant growth in recent years and according to estimates, over the next five years there will continue to be a dramatic rise in the sales of micro-leaves. We expect micro-greens to become a major part of the global spice market as a premium category."
Leah Porat, Director of the Agro-technology Branch of the Israel Export Institute, noted that the industry includes Israeli companies with technologies in a variety of fields such as pesticides and fertilizers, seeds, greenhouses, irrigation, post-harvest treatment, dairy farms, poultry farming and more. "The Israeli companies in the field receive great attention and interest both from incoming delegations from abroad and from visitors to exhibitions and conferences abroad and in Israel." She says the industry receives around 60 incoming delegations from around the world, government delegations and the private sector, who come and are impressed by the advanced technologies and breakthroughs of Israeli agro-technology companies.
The work plan of the Israel Export Institute includes a variety of activities carried out in close cooperation with the Foreign Trade Administration of the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the year, four exhibitions will take place in South America, Japan, South Africa and Asia, including a national pavilion with dozens of Israeli companies. According to Porat, the goal is to promote the connection of Israeli companies with local companies and potential partners through business meetings. Porat noted that the scope of TAP's operations has expanded and it has grown by 25 employees in a short period of time, while also providing work to about 15 Israeli suppliers from various fields. "During the year, TAP hosts several delegations from abroad who come to check the advanced technologies it offers. I believe that thorough fieldwork will bring success to Israeli companies with partners around the world. The Export Institute offers a range of services to companies looking to develop in new markets, and invites every company in the field to examine the possibilities that the industry offers."
Leah Porat, Director of the Agro-technology Branch of the Israel Export Institute
In cooperation with the Israel Export Institute.