For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Mike Knowles



Tuesday 22nd April 2008, 07:00 Hong Kong

New Italian trade group to boost exports

Leading exporters to collaborate under Macfrut International as Italian sector looks to compete in emerging markets

New Italian trade group to boost exports

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Several of Italy’s leading fresh produce export companies are working on plans to collaborate more closely in emerging export markets as part of a new project called Macfrut International.

The project, which was officially unveiled at last week’s Macfrut trade fair in Cesena, is expected to create a more coordinated presence for the best of the country’s export trade, for example at global trade fairs, while organising a number of visits to Italy for trade delegations from importer countries.

Newsline understands that the group is also considering the eventual establishment of dedicated commercial offices in key export centres.

Among the leading countries being targeted are Russia and India – St Petersburg and Mumbai are likely to be the first places Macfrut International develops a permanent base – with growing markets in South America also on the group’s radar screen.

The new partnership involves many of the country’s most prominent industry names, most of them specialists in particular product areas, including: Melinda, La Trentina, VOG, VI.P, Sant’Orsola, Oranfrizer, Di Donna, Pignataro, Ermes.

Thus far, Macfrut International comprises four product groups – citrus, apples, soft fruit and table grapes – but it expects to add kiwifruit and pears to its export basket in the near future.

“We want to overcome the kind of internal competition seen in other markets,” explained a spokesman. “As exporters, we are supplying more or less the same products, so internal conflict is not really advantageous. Ultimately, we hope to serve our clients better.”

Macfrut, which took place on 17-19 April, celebrated its 25th anniversary last
week. The show attracted around 21,000 visitors, according to officials, among them 70 overseas delegations, with around 700 companies exhibiting – a quarter of them from outside Italy.

Among the major announcements at this year’s event was the news that leading marketer Naturitalia has signed a deal with Calabrian supplier Campoverde to
supply early-season stonefruit.

Apofruit Italia unveiled plans to invest €20m in production, innovation and export projects over the next three years, while its organics division Almaverde Bio was presented with the coveted Grappolo d’Oro award for exports.

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