Origine Group has managed to increase its sales of Italian kiwifruit over the past season, despite some significant challenges in terms of production volumes, market demand, currency exchange rates, and logistics.
The Italo-Chilean consortium will ship its last containers of Italian product to overseas markets this month, bringing to a close a tough campaign.
But despite the unfavourable trading conditions – made more difficult by a reduction in volume and sizing of green kiwifruit – the group still managed to grow.
“The decrease in volume of Italian green kiwifruit harvested in 2020, together with a growing global demand and a strong dollar, has led to a complex situation,” says managing director Alessandro Zampagna.
“On the one hand, we gave priority to established business partners leaving out non-strategic sales; on the other hand, prices went up but competition with Greek product was particularly difficult, especially in the first part of the season.'
He continues: “Moreover, this year the logistical difficulties have multiplied, mainly due to the pandemic. Increases in fares, congested ports, last-minute changes and cancellations. In short, a very demanding season where we have done our best to ensure the kiwifruit’s arrival to our customers.'
A hard road, therefore, but overseas markets continued to be the way forward for Origine, which sold 21 per cent more in volume terms and shipped well over 100 containers.
Sales of its Sweeki and Made in Blu brands were satisfactory, it said, in both the Far East and North American markets.
While overseas shipments of Italian kiwifruit will finish by April, a positive end to the season remains in sight in Europe, where demand reportedly remains good.
After that, Origine is hoping the perception of kiwifruit as a superfood with “exceptional” nutritional content will continue to drive sales for its counter-seasonal offer.
“We are already preparing for the Chilean kiwifruit season, thanks to our partners Copefrut and David Del Curto, following the strategy of continuity of the branded product on the shelves all year round,” Zampagna adds.