Protofanousi AFL 2017

Greece is steadily gaining a larger share of the fruit market every year, and one of the main products that is pushing Greek exports to higher levels is kiwifruit.

Years ago, Proto – a major fruit supplier and kiwifruit grower in Greece – identified the potential for Greek kiwifruit globally, and for this reason the company is investing every year in its people, its techniques and its equipment with the aim of maintaining quality while increasing quantities.

“The Protofanousi family has grown and supplied fruit for almost 100 years, creating Proto, one of the largest fruit exporters in Greece and by far the largest Greek kiwifruit exporter,” said export director George Kallitsis. “Since Proto attends every major fruit exhibition, Asia Fruit Logistica is an obvious stop.”

For this year’s Asia Fruit Logistica exhibition, which takes place in Hong Kong on 6-8 September, the Proto team is planning a number of announcements, including the launch of its new brand, as well as forecasts for the new kiwifruit season.

“We are starting to make specific estimations on the quantities that are going to be handled, since the season appears to be a normal one quantity-wise by Greek standards,” he said. “Starting with the Greenlight variety in late September, we will be more than happy to share these numbers with our visitors and customers, discuss their individual needs and plan alongside them for the upcoming season.”

According to Kallitsis, Proto has already planned out its storage scheme at its facilities, which are operated by advanced monitoring systems.

“The kiwifruit are stored in cooling rooms depending on their quality characteristics, creating an elaborate storage and logistics system that contributes to the packing procedure and the overall production process,” he said.

Despite the Asian market’s demand predominantly for hard kiwifruit, and South-east Asian countries’ preference for a light colour, including in China and Malaysia, Kallitsis said that Proto was up to the challenge.

“Proto has proven that it can meet these standards, overcoming the obstacle of long-distance travel,” stated Kallitsis. “The Asian market is a strategic target for Proto. We are forming new collaborations at a steady pace and expanding our existing ones with retailers and wholesalers. Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, China and Indonesia, in addition to destinations in the Middle East, are markets that we will continue to actively target.”

According to Kallitsis, Asia Fruit Logistica represents the ideal opportunity for customers and visitors to find out about the methods that the company’s Quality Assurance Team follows to ensure a high quality final product.

“We will be happy to discuss how the supply rate may affect various quality parameters and consider possible solutions to meet individual supply needs,” he said.