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Mike Knowles



Italian firms ready to club together

Leading suppliers make statement of intent as growing need for consolidation prompts them to consider club model

Italian firms ready to club together

Stonefruit is just one of several products that could be marketed centrally (Photo: Apofruit)

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Consolidation in the Italian fresh produce supply chain appears to be gathering pace after several of Italy’s leading fresh produce companies confirmed they had teamed up to promote  a new system of aggregated supply open to all.

In a joint statement, the group said it wanted to create value for producers by adopting new joint strategies, taking a model recently proposed for pears and potentially applying it to all products.

The companies involved are: Apofruit, Associazione Frutticoltori Estense (which markets its produce through Unacoa under the Salvi brand), Granfrutta Zani, Pempa Corer (part of Terremerse) and Spreafico/KiwiSole.

The main reason for such a move, they said, was to guarantee the sector’s survival by addressing “the general profitability of fruit and vegetable producers who are penalised by the insufficient margins”.

In the statement, the group said it had a number of key objectives. Among these were improving earnings for member producers; running a network that placed a value on resources, positioning in the market and the specialisms of individual members; and co-ordinating sales to avoid possible loss of value in the case of market imbalances.

Additionally, the group planned to create distinctive new policies relating to quality, communication and branding, while developing new markets that would require an unfeasible amount of effort on the part of each individual company.

“The partnership is meant to be open to all those companies that share these objectives and the proposed way of working,” the group added, “an efficient, aggregated and integrated model that won’t add cost and takes inspiration from successful product clubs, which have established themselves on the market in recent years and have made it possible to promote the work of producers.”

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