Orgine Group has reported a sharp rise in exports of Italian kiwifruit for 2019/20 in spite of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic during the second half of the campaign.

Exports totalled 3,300 tonnes, an increase of 49 per cent on the previous year. Managing director Alessandro Zampagna said the company had achieved positive results in unprecedented conditions.

“Up to January the growth was mainly on the overseas markets, while in Europe volumes and prices were not picking up due to the strong competition,” he said.

“With the coronavirus emergency everything changed: Europe has experienced a robust growth in demand and consequently in prices, whereas on the overseas markets we had to deal with a number of different problems, from port blockages to sudden market changes.”

Overall, Zampagna characterised this as a positive season for the company, bringing new market openings, access to new retail channels and good returns for growers as well as increased sales.

“Our top-quality Sweeki brand keeps growing in Asia, and now we hope to resume our projects in China,” he explained. “We’re also growing in North America, while in Europe our clients trust our product and service.”

The group has now switched to Chilean supply in order to ensure the all-year-round presence of its brands on the shelves.