São Paulo – Based in Rio de Janeiro, the trading company ALM Brazil will launch a coffee and pepper brand with the Halal certification for the Arab market. The trading partner and CEO Marlucia Martire won’t reveal the brand’s name yet, since the registration of the trademark is still in process but tells the coffee varieties will be roasted conilon and Arabic, and the peppers include murupi, malagueta and biquinho, as well as blends of peppers for meat, and garlic with pepper.
ALM Brazil works exporting an array of typical Brazilian products and chose coffee and peppers for this project because of the high demand they receive from the Arab market, and because of requests from the importers in that region. “I saw great opportunities there for coffee and peppers,” says the businesswoman. ALM Brazil participated as an exhibitor in SIAL Middle East fair (photo above) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and received many quotation requests during and after the show.
The initial plan is shipping the Brazilian coffee already roasted, but the company is also talking with a potential Arab partner on the possibility of exporting the product raw and roasting and packing it in the United Arab Emirates, thus cheapening the cost and making it more locally competitive, according to Marlucia. She will follow these discussions this month, when she will be in Dubai to participate in the food fair Gulfood as an exhibitor. The halal brand launch in the Arab market will occur during the show.
ALM Brazil markets are in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Among the Arabs, the company sells to the United Arab Emirates and is negotiating with Kuwait, Oman and Egypt. UAE imports coffee and peppers, and the trading is preparing to ship fresh lemons. Although China is the biggest market for the company, the CEO says the greatest perspectives are in the Arab countries. “The Arab Market has responded very well to Brazilian products,” says the businesswoman.
ALM Brazil exports tapioca, açaí, cajuína (clarified cashew juice), Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, fleur de sel (salt crystals used for culinary purposes) and lemon and has started working with gourmet water. This extremely pure product, labeled Minerale, comes from a non-polluted source, without any human manipulation, and is sold in glass bottles in the premium segment, according to Marlucia. ALM sells product from companies based in Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Pará, Ceará and Paraná.
Based in Rio, the company started in 2004 as a business intermediator, then became a trading company so it could export and import and adapt products for the markets on its own. “I saw how difficult it was for the companies to complete transactions in foreign trade,” says Marlucia. The trading works with companies that don’t export but have products perfect for that, and with companies that export but delegate specific markets for ALM.
Marlucia defends the importance of trading companies and believe they have the potential to help significantly increase Brazilian exports. She also sees export as a way to spread national culture. As an example of the Brazilian way of life being absorbed, she mentions the Arabs consuming açaí. It was something they didn’t do before Brazil started selling it to the region. “I don’t just want to make a sale but a deal where people believe in what they are buying,” says the businesswoman.
Marlucia Martire was born in Rio, and has a law degree specializing in private international law. Acting as a consultant for companies in this area, she saw a path for her in the foreign market. “I saw that the companies didn’t export and that moved me,” she says about what she describes as a lack of an exporting culture in the business world. She opened ALM with two colleagues who eventually left the company, and now her partner is her daughter Gabriela Martire. Her husband Luigi Martire also participates in the business. “I love my work, and I do it with love and devotion,” she says.