Indian grape exports to the Europe fell by six per cent in 2009, but quality and price improvement left the industry happy with the season.
Imports to Europe fell from 41,139 tonnes in 2008 to 38,688t in 2009, 52 fewer containers down from 3,562, with the UK accounting for 40 per cent of shipments.
But the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) said improved quality on the 20008 season and a better price gained by growers had made up for the fall.
“[The slip] is generally down to the economic slowdown as traders, supermarkets and importers don’t want to take the risk of grapes not selling,” Apeda director Sanjay Dave told freshinfo.
“Also there has been a slight decline because importers reduced the amount of advance they gave exporters this year compared to last.
“But we’re happy as the farmers have earned a good price and 52 containers isn’t huge.”
But new software, developed by Apeda, to improve traceability is believed to be likely to decrease the amount of rejected fruit and increase sendings in the 2010 February to April season.
The software will allow importers to track containers as well as informing on quality, volume, certifications and residue testing, before adjusting prices and volume of orders accordingly.
“We have a schedule to bring in this tracking and information system for every consignment and container of fruit and veg being shipped from India within the next two years, starting with grapes and pomegranates,” said Dave.
The new system will also be available to Indian customs officials to increase the speed at which fruit can be exported.
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