Ten table grape exporters in the Italian region of Puglia have been given the green light to ship their fruit directly to Canada for the first time, following a recent trade agreement between the two countries.
According to representatives from Puglia fresh produce association Apeo, exports from three regions – Puglia, Basilicata and Sicily – can in theory begin immediately and will be subject to a trial period of one year, during which time the Canadian authorities will conduct phytosanitary checks on consignments entering the country.
The first containers are expected to depart in the coming weeks.
All of the companies registered to send their table grapes to Canada have agreed to follow a strict protocol and adhere to a rigid system of quality controls.
The ten companies are: Agricoper, Agrigal, Dino, Di Palma Donato, Nicola Coniglio, Franco Pignataro, Frutta Italia, Giuliano, Nava and Ortofrutticoli la Pernice.
"We are now in the final phase of this important agreement," Apeo president Giacomo Suglia told Italiafruit News. "To export to Canada, Pugliese companies will now have to make a specific request to the region."
He added: "The Canadian market can take all kinds of grapes, from yellow to red to black, depending on the customers’ specific requests."