George Kallitsis Protofanousi

George Kallitsis of Protofanousi Fruits

Greek kiwifruit exporters are rapidly building a solid reputation on Asian markets, with exhibitors attracting significant attention at September’s Asia Fruit Logistica show in Hong Kong.

“We started shipping early varieties of kiwifruit to India three weeks ago,” said George Kallitsis of exporter Protofanousi Fruits, which began sending to the Indian market in February. “We saw in Hong Kong that there was big demand for Greek kiwifruit from Indian companies. A lot of Indian importers came to visit our stand, both big and small.”

Protofanousi Fruits has already loaded 10 containers for the Indian market, according to Kallitsis.

“Next week we start sending to Indonesia, which we began shipping to last year,” he said. “We expect to double our sales there this year, as demand is strong. We did some very successful promotions with an importer in Indonesia, including tastings in supermarkets.”

The company is still in discussions to send its first kiwifruit volumes of the year to China since, according to Kallitsis, there remains a lot of Zespri fruit from New Zealand still on the market.

“Volumes of Zespri kiwifruit should be high until the end of December, so we will start a bit later, in mid-November,” he said.

Other markets with good potential for the future include Malaysia and Singapore, added Kallitsis. “In Italy this year, production is substantially lower and quality in some regions is not so good,” he said. “I understand prices for Italian kiwifruit will be high, so we should be more competitive.

'Next week, we will also begin loading for the Middle East market. We are sending to Dubai, as well as to Bahrain and Kuwait. It could be a good chance to increase our exports there while Italian fruit is experiencing some problems.”