Italy has a great opportunity to sell more of its key fruit exports in Asia, according to one of the country’s leading experts in fresh produce marketing.
Speaking ahead of this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica, the annual trade show in Hong Kong where Italian exhibitors are outnumbered only by those from China itself, Alessandra Ravaioli of marketing and research agency CSO said there was “great potential” for many of Italy’s major export lines, not least kiwifruit, apples, plums and pears.
“For the latter, the potential is higher for non-russeted varieties like Coscia, Santa Maria and Max Red Bartlett,” she told Fruitnet.
That potential is also being realised in a market like Indonesia, despite restrictions on imports still being in place.
Naturally, given its huge population and expanding, increasingly urban middle class, China is the country that interests Italian exporters the most, Ravaioli noted.
“It’s a market that only opened for Italy a few years ago but it’s showing constant growth over the years. We maintain that we can grow with a wider presence of high-quality, distinctive Italian products like green, yellow and red kiwifruit.”
The main challenge for Italian countries, Ravaioli added, was to overcome barriers to trade.
“One thinks, for example, of pears: Italy is the world’s second-largest producer with a very high-quality range that it could export to China.
“We can also talk about outstanding oranges with pigmented flesh. The prospect of the Chinese market opening for these two kinds of product is very close and would be really important for Italy.”
CSO has organised two stands at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica: one under the Freshness from Europe banner for several of the country’s leading fresh produce exporters – Alegra, Apofruit, Made in Blu, Spreafico, Origine, Kingfruit, Oranfrizer, Salvi and Mazzoni – and another simply called Italy that will showcase key players in the country’s production, export, technology and packaging sectors.
Freshness from Europe, a three-year scheme backed by the EU and Italian government, aims to boost demand among consumers in China, Japan, UAE, UAE, Canada and the US.