AFL Italy

Fruitnet continues its series of exhibitor spotlights from Asia Fruit Logistica with a look at Europe. During the trade show, the Fruitnet team spoke to some of the region's leading players about key developments and future prospects.

Anecoop (Spain)

Spanish produce giant Anecoop has sent its first shipment of grapes to China as it seeks to test the water for future trade. The company, which already supplies citrus to Asia, wants to gauge the reception to its first few containers of grapes with a view to extending volumes further in future. The company’s Nacho Juárez said there is good opportunity for Spanish companies in China, however, he warned that the market is also becoming more complex, with new retailers, e-tailers and distributors coming on stream. Competition is also fierce from other sources. Persimmon is a growing product for Spain in Asia, Juárez added, with the new Rojo Brilliante variety travelling well and gaining traction in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Mitrosilis (Greece)

Greek exporter Mitrosilis was back at Asia Fruit Logistica having just opened a new packhouse for its kiwifruit – a development that sales and logistics manager Nikos Katsaloulis said reflected the growing importance of overseas markets, which has further increased the need for high-quality storage and distribution.

Nikos Katsaloulis (left) and Christos Mitrosilis

Sinclair (UK)

Sinclair used Asia Fruit Logistica as a platform for its new EcoLabel, a food-safe, compostable label for fruit and vegetables. The label, which is available in a range of shapes and sizes and can be removed without leaving adhesive residue, breaks down fully in just 180 days. The company is currently in the process of gaining market-specific certification in a number of countries. The launch comes as Sinclair aims to lead the way by reducing its own carbon footprint. There are plans to reduce waste levels by 80 per cent at its Norwich site within the next year, according to marketing manager for the rest of the world, Duncan Jones.

Italia Ortofrutta (Italy)

Italian exhibitors continued to feature prominently at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica. Taking part for the first time was Italia Ortofrutta, which stands out as Italy’s single-largest alliance of fruit and vegetable producer organisations, with more than 140 members and annual turnover of close to €2bn. Director Vincenzo Falconi and president Gennaro Velardo were both in Hong Kong to promote four leading suppliers – AOA, Assofruit Italia, Lagnasco Group and Terra Orti. “Although we could do with more support from government on market access, we are confident we can grow our business here in the region,” said Falconi.

LoliPop (France)

French exporters Pominter and Cardell Export presented LoliPop, a new branded apple that offers sweet-tasting, bright red fruit grown exclusively in the country, in the Tarn et Garonne, Vaucluse, Isère and Alpes de Haute Provence regions, by six different producers – Pominter, Guedj, Coopérative DLF, Société Terre de Pommes, La Cocinnelle and SICA Pomme Alpes. Available from November to April, the apple’s brand name is designed to be reminiscent of childhood.

FR LoliPop apples

BVEO (Germany)

Christian Wieseloh, managing director of German’s national fruit and vegetable producer association BVEO, said slow but steady progress was being made to open up new markets for the country’s fruit exporters in Asia, notably for apples and cherries. “We are due to welcome inspectors from Taiwan later this month, with the aim of securing a protocol agreement for the shipment of apples,” he revealed.

Mac Ukraine (Ukraine)

Ukrainian apple brand Oh My Goodness! took part in the show for the first time. Founded just four years ago by Mac Ukraine, the group has more than 48ha of organic production in Bukovina, in the south-west of the country. “We have been developing our exports in several parts of the world and we see good opportunities in Asia,” said business development manager Alexander Bychkov.

Marco (UK)

Marco was at Asia Fruit Logistica showcasing its latest cloud-based quality-control module, which allows fresh produce businesses to regulate and automate quality-control processes across the production floor. The system uses a cloud system operated by the QC Master tablet, which allows users to capture and share information quickly and easily. The company was present in Hong Kong on the same British pavilion as customer Richard Hochfeld, which has installed Marco solutions at its packing operations in South Africa and the UK. Marco is already a substantial operator in the Australia and New Zealand markets, and hopes to expand further into China as its customers set up operations there.

British Pavillion