José Luis Bonet, President of Cavas Freixenet, will be giving his overview on exporting during a lecture that will be imparted along with other entrepreneurs of the industry, this on the upcoming May 13th at FENAVIN
There are wineries such as Freixenet in which its current time has heavily depended on the wager made on taking its product abroad. This is the adventure of a visionary, which will be recounted on the upcoming May 13th at FENAVIN by the President of this winery, José Luis Bonet, during a lecture that will be moderated by Ramón Tamames and called "Models of Exportation and Production", and in which other wine growing entrepreneurs such as Carlos Falcó, President of Pagos de Familia will also be present, along with; Félix Solís, President of Félix Solis Avantis; José García Carrión, President of the García Carrión Group and Pau Roca, Secretary of the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV).
Bonet will be reviewing his family"s commercial legacy, which has managed to place Freixenet and its "Carta Nevada" at an international level as the most highly sold Cava in the world. A milestone achieved by José Luis Bonet"s uncle, José Ferrer Sala, who "took his cava around the world at a time when nobody believed in such a thing", he recalls. This was at the beginning of the seventies, a time when Cava was still being called "xampaña" and when production was still only local. "I remember hearing a competitor say that we would never be able to export one single bottle", Bonet reminisces. And as if this wasn"t enough, the Cava Regulator Board in full "started to discriminate exports right up to the year 1974".
They were indeed difficult years, assures the likewise President of Spain"s Chamber of Commerce, because "many risks had to be faced, much care had to be taken and many years, time and effort had to be invested". However, the wine grower believes that currently "in the wine industry, it is more than evident that this is the path to take and the whole world knows this".
Hence the reason why Bonet highly values the work that FENAVIN has been carrying out since its very beginnings, something that he has been following closely during previous visits to the trade fair. "Along with Alimentaria, this is one of the great Spanish trade fairs, which always looks abroad, and many people have told me that it has been extremely useful in order to start exporting their products", he affirms. "Trade fairs must be useful and that is something that depends on internationalization, exactly as FENAVIN is doing". Bonet emphasizes "how well orientated this trade fair is" in this sense and he highlights the work that is being carried out "to place companies that are looking towards foreign trade on the right track".
Freixenet: ahead of their time
They say that he who arrives first, arrives twice, and that is what can be extracted from José Luis Bonet"s narrative as he evokes his winery"s trajectory in order to highlight the importance of internationalization in the wine growing industry. A risk that his uncle assumed due to the business vision he had, "he was indeed ahead of his time", Bonet affirms, acknowledging that he was only able to lead this commercial action because "he was the first to arrive".
Behind all the risks involved in wagering on exportation –when not even a true and tried manual existed to tell you "how to do it"- there is a long series of wise moves that the President of Freixenet will be sharing with all at the round table to be held on the upcoming May 13th at FENAVIN, all this with the goal of offering this experience to all those wineries that want to start exporting their wines, because he considers that despite "the fact that this is the way to go, the Spanish economy must adapt to the real current framework that globalization actually is".
The world as the only market
Bonet will also be analyzing the current economic context at FENAVIN in order to pass over the idea of thinking about commercial actions that conceive "the world as a market, which is locally divided and markets of which are different within this globalized world". A reality that has given rise to the need for internationalization and "in second term, the need to adapt to local markets, which likewise gives rise to different strategies within that which is global", affirms the President of Freixenet.
A commercial strategy that starts with an analysis on internationalization of the brand, according to Bonet. "The brand is universal, although the techniques for distribution, the channels and the markets are all very different, hence the reason why advertising must also be different, in accordance to the market we are confronting", the President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce also recommends. A reality that can be seen and felt in each market as a consequence of the wine growing culture itself, of its uses and customs, even religious influences: all the social parameters must be measured when planning on internationalization takes place.
Not only must we take our products abroad, we must also invest in them
After three decades of exporting abroad, José Luis Bonet, along with his entire family that has also dedicated itself to the business, has observed that simply designing market strategies that would facilitate good reception of their products was not enough. In the opinion of Freixenet"s President, apart from "going abroad", we also have to wager on direct investment; implantation in other countries is very important to me because it truly supports exportation", he reveals. Within this global macro-structure that conceives the world as a single market we must not forget the micro-markets, with the peculiarities that make up each one of them, "we must learn all about the local structures, as being everywhere really helps in all that related with exporting of the Spanish product", he determines.
Considering all the experience accumulated by these wineries and after serving as a reference for all those that followed, Bonet concludes that Spain "was late to arrive", not only because a vision was lacking, but also because of the existence of bureaucratic barriers that were overcome when a foreign trade department was set-up in the sixties with this precise goal in mind. "Now Spain has an exporting platform, which is something that has really helped to overcome the current crisis and, on top of that, it is aiming at the future", he concludes.