Italian supplier says managed varieties business on track to represent almost one-third of its production by 2030

Fabio Zanesco VIP

Fabio Zanesco, VIP

So-called club apples, varieties grown and sold under controlled licensing schemes, are a big part of the commercial strategy for the Val Venosta Association of Fruit and Vegetable Cooperatives (VIP), based in north-east Italy.

It’s easy to see why. Brands like Ambrosia, Kanzi, Envy, and Cosmic Crisp offer improved taste and flavour to suit increasingly discerning consumers. Plus, they can be grown in different parts of the world to sustain year-round supply.

A decade ago, those managed apple varieties accounted for only 1 per cent of VIP’s entire production. But following major investments in established brands as well as new varieties like Yello, SweeTango, Kissabel, Bonita, and Natyra, that figure is on course to reach 30 per cent by 2030.

No wonder the supplier opted last year to entrust development of its licensed varieties to one of its most capable commercial managers, Fabio Zanesco. A vastly experienced member of the VIP team, Zanesco now has a key role to play not just in VIP’s success, but the success of various international marketing alliances.

“It is important to network,” he explains. “As well as with the club representatives, it is necessary to coordinate with various figures within VIP, first and foremost the production managers, the sales manager and the marketing manager, but also with the other production consortia, which turn from competitors into partners with club apples.”