Sales of organic apples increase by 25 per cent compared to the previous sales season

Italy’s Val Venosta Association of Fruit and Vegetable Cooperatives (VIP) is reporting a positive organic apple campaign after a bumper harvest. Sales are up 25 per cent in the five months to 31 January and the group said the outlook for the coming months is equally favourable.

VIP's Gerhard Eberhöfer

VIP’s Gerhard Eberhöfer

“We got off to a very good start in November. After a slight decline in December, sales picked up again from the third week of January 2024, as the consumption of organic fruit has picked up again, especially in Northern Europe,” said Gerhard Eberhöfer, the group’s organic product manager.

VIP added that the only challenge remains the Golden Delicious variety, “which is in particular demand from consumers in Italy and Spain and has slightly higher stocks than planned”.

VIP is once again exhibiting at this year’s Biofach organic trade fair, which takes place in Nuremberg this week, as part of the joint South Tyrolean stand in the Bioland area.

“Participation in this trade fair has always been important for us; this year it is even more important. In Val Venosta, we recorded a 20 per cent additional harvest of organic apples this year compared to last year,” Eberhöfer said.

“Our main competitors in Italy and Europe, on the other hand, recorded a decrease in their harvests. This creates very favourable conditions for us.”

According to VIP, the willingness to favour regional products and thus specifically promote sustainability is proving to be another plus point for organic apples from South Tyrol. European market players regard South Tyrolean fruit as a local product and therefore favour it over overseas products in the summer months.

“We have already planned sales for June, July and August with some of the largest retailers in Germany and Scandinavia. Year after year, we realise that the European market values VIP as the leading organic supplier in the apple sector. That suits us well,” the company said.

At the fair, Bio Val Venosta is also presenting its new Flowrap packaging for organic apples to the international market. This is a premium packaging made of paper with a window made of linen net. The packaging is completely biodegradable and can be printed all over with appealing information.

VIP said sustainability and visual appeal are two important factors in increasing the demand for organic apples: “We have currently achieved a balanced price level for our organic apples. However, in order to maintain this, we need to convince consumers and retailers in particular of the intrinsic values of organic apples,” the company explained.

“The pursuit of sustainability and respect for the environment are evident at VIP. The quality of Val Venosta organic apples is in no way inferior. The weather conditions in autumn 2023 led to less intense colouring in some varieties. However, the flavour and quality of our apples remain at a high level. We are therefore confident that we can easily support the market with high-quality organic apples until the next harvest.”