Posted on

US to spend $173.2 million promoting exports of its farm products

borrar usda logo

The US Government has announced funds of more than $173 million to be used next year to increase exports of American agricultural products.

Washington apple growers, Florida citrus producers, California’s table grape sector and the Northwest pear industry are among those set to benefit from multi-million dollar allocations.

 

Cranberry, cling peach, cherry, sweet potato, tomato, and organic produce organisations are also among the recipients.

 

Through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market Access Program (MAP), the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) will provide $173.2 million (up from nearly $172 million last year) to 62 nonprofit organisations and cooperatives. Participants contribute an average 214% match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives.

 

MAP focuses on consumer promotion, including brand promotion for small companies and cooperatives, and is used extensively by organisations promoting fruits, vegetables, nuts, processed products, and bulk and intermediate commodities.

 

Meanwhile, under the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program (also known as the Cooperator Program), FAS will allocate $26.7 million (up from $24.6 million last year) to 22 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers.

 

The FMD program focuses on trade servicing and capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for US agricultural products.

 

An independent study released in 2010 found that trade promotion programs like MAP and FMD provide $35 in economic benefits for every dollar spent by government and industry on market development, the USDA said in a press release.

 

“The past six years represent the strongest period for U.S. agricultural exports in the history of the United States. Farm exports in fiscal year 2014 reached a record $152.5 billion and supported 1 million jobs in the United States,” it also said.

Here is our summary of this year and last year’s funding most relevant to the fresh fruit and vegetable sector:

 

USDA Market Access Program (MAP) funding: Participant FY 2015 Allocation FY 2014 Allocation
Food Export Association of Midwest $10,272,114 $9,637,643
Food Export USA Northeast $8,896,086 $8,138,985
Western US Agricultural Trade Association $7,705,129 $8,097,508
Southern United States Trade Association $7,152,346 $5,874,329
Washington Apple Commission $5,179,019 $4,930,752
National Potato Promotion Board $4,998,822 $3,647,427
Florida Department of Citrus $4,383,830 $3,885,364
California Table Grape Commission $3,424,871 $3,093,070
Pear Bureau Northwest $3,069,707 $2,926,873
California Prune Board $3,023,063 $2,668,406
Raisin Administrative Committee $3,018,117 $827,922
Sunkist Growers, Inc. $2,660,274 $2,372,577
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture $2,329,520 $3,533,072
Cranberry Marketing Committee* $1,791,836 $1,561,170
Washington State Fruit Commission $1,685,709 $1,361,810
U.S. Apple Export Council $998,650 $712,727
Welch Foods, Inc. $932,734 $834,411
California Agricultural Export Council $861,378 $1,228,525
Organic Trade Association $784,902 $746,912
Intertribal Agriculture Council $728,492 $642,528
California Cling Peach Growers Advisory Board $500,182 $444,892
California Pear Advisory Board $468,842 $442,081
California Cherry Marketing and Research Board $443,722 $519,189
New York Wine and Grape Foundation $422,674 $484,886
California Grape and Tree Fruit League $413,125 $420,800
Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council $379,415 $388,412
Cherry Marketing Institute $290,042 $204,115
American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute $200,000 $200,000
Florida Tomato Committee $3,578  
National Watermelon Promotion Board   $290,367
*Cranberry Marketing Committee also received the following in Foreign Market Development Funds (FMD) $182,665 $153,754

 

Posted on

FROM´s vision of the apple campaign in the Russian Market

Italian apple sales to Russia are facing a difficult time. According to Nicola Zanotelli, the General Manager of FROM, the apple consortium of the Italian Alps for Russia, the main challenge is to be found in the in-depth restructuring of the market, with a changing client base and unclear development so far. “The market dynamics are very hard to predict – currency fluctuation, non-transparent companies, challenging management of claims – this risk is still preventing the market environment from developing into a structured system with more clean sales channels”, says Zanotelli.  Nevertheless, the FROM consortium was able to further develop its presence and consolidate the relationships with those recognised as strategic clients. Sales figures recorded for the years 2011-2 and 2012-13 reached 31,000 and 19,000 tons, and this year is likely to end up with a volume of around 25,000 t.
“This past season was a very difficult one: sellers entered the market with the wrong price positioning, still recalling the high prices of the previous season, but later on it turned out that the sales failed to match the needed decumulation for some apple varieties, so we witnessed a clear market drop around March-April. Luckily after the price adjustment the sales took off again and all apples which needed to be were sold”, explains Zanotelli. At the same time, FROM was supporting retail clients with marketing activities at point of sale. The ultimate aim is to both increase standardised volumes and stabilise prices to the mutual benefit of the whole value chain.
For the coming season, the FROM’s target will be to further deepen the relationships with loyal clients, while also striving to expand their marketing activities through direct contact with end consumers.  FROM is also offering processed apple products, such as fresh apple juice with no additives, as well as their fresh cut apples offered in handy 80g bags. 

Posted on

No borders for Mazzoni’s marketing

mazzoni

Interviewed during the last “Fruit Attraction” exhibition in Madrid, Mazzoni’s sales director Sergio Trevisan reminded us of the wide range of products delivered by the group internationally. Mazzoni supplies 30,000 tons of pears, 33,000 tons of apples, 16,000 of kiwi, 15,000 of carrots, and 10,000 of potaoes, clementines and oranges selected from the area most dedicated to this in the South of Italy: Calabria. Special marketing activities are carried out to create interest in specific varieties like “DOP garlic from Voghiera”, a traditional item that confirms the strong relationship between Mazzoni and their origins. The garlic is supplied fresh for use (three heads in nylon 150 gram nets, in a 4.5 kg carton box, 125 grams  in a 5 kg cartonbox,  200 grams in a 5 kg carton box,  250 grams in a 4kg carton box) and for industrial purposes (peeled fresh and frozen cloves of garlic in bags and carton boxes) as well as for HO.RE.CA. (small pacgkaging). Mazzoni is challanging overseas markets like the USA, Canada, Emirates and the Far East with fresh fruit, supported by marketing action targetting the customers and enabling them to taste and appreciate the flavour of flavor fresh Italian fruit and vegetables. Mazzoni  is also a specialist in frozen kiwi and strawberry production, supplying sliced and diced fruit for industrial “patisserie” and yogurt industries, accordingly.
Both the fresh and frozen Mazzoni divisions guarantee a “short chain” production as well as  a qualified selection control system from harvest to delivery of the product.
MV

 

Posted on

Kanzi® brand apples on the up again

NEWS apple KANZI beeld SWOK etiket 150x150mm

For the 2013-14 sales season, Kanzi® Europe launched a strong campaign in all major European markets in September/October 2013. The campaign contains all the trappings of diversified marketing, such as television spots, experience marketing, classic and online PR, and extensive POS activities. “Online and social media are also playing a very important role this year in the communication blend, as a fast-increasing number of Kanzi® consumers follow the Kanzi® apple via online media,” says Urs Luder, CEO of GKE N.V.
GKE reports that the first 3 months of the 2013-14 Kanzi® sales season have been very positive in all the target markets, with sales volumes running above the previous year’s level. Urs Luder attributes this to increasing consumer awareness of the Kanzi® brand and the intensive marketing campaign, which in January will reach a second peak with a broad package of TV and radio spots, the launch of an European-wide Kanzi® game contest and an array of social media competitions.
The 2014 sales season for Kanzi® will be extended through to the arrival of Kanzi® produced in the Southern Hemisphere. The trees in South Africa and New Zealand are starting to come into production with excellent qualities to be expected based on last year’s first commercial experience. “This is a major step forward in our strategy to supply the market year-round. Volumes from the Southern Hemisphere will now grow very rapidly over the next 3 years, which will enable us to expand markets further,” states Urs Luder.
Kanzi® North America will also feature some sales programmes this season. Volumes in U.S. orchards are rapidly coming into higher production for the 2014 harvest season. Urs Luder reports that “the earlier experience shows that U.S. consumers are very positive about the Kanzi® apple. We are very confident that the North American market will also become a pillar in our global strategy.”

Posted on

Jazz™ and Envy™: much desired apples

enza

 

“I have seen the best ever apple season in my 40-year career,” states Tony Fissette, head of Enzafruit Europe. Jazz™, Braeburn, Cox’s, Royal Gala and Pink Lady™ varieties have seen their shipments from New Zealand to Europe achieve record price levels. An accumulation of several factors has made this possible: a shorter, historic European crop in 2012 (with no stock by the end of the season), a later start to the summer fruit season, and again a later European winter crop for 2013.  The Enzafruit group’s 2013 export season is ending with nearly 5 million cartons (18kg). “This is just the volume and size we want for our customers.” 
The total New Zealand apple crop for 2013 amounted to around 17 million cartons of 18kg. This is mainly segmented between Royal Gala, the number one variety with 5 million boxes, Braeburn with 3.5 million cartons (still on the decline), and the Jazz™ variety with 2.5 million boxes. Enzafruit is concentrating its new plantings on the Jazz™ and Envy™ varieties. 
In the coming 3 years, for instance, there will be extra Jazz™ plantings of 110 hectares in Europe, meaning an increase of 15%. This means that by 2017, Jazz™ production in Europe will be around 1.5 million cartons (with more than 1 million cartons from France and Italy, and the rest divided between Switzerland and the UK).
As for New Zealand’s Jazz™ produce, the target for 2017 is around 2.5-3 million cartons of 18kg. The USA is also undergoing a very advanced Jazz™ programme of 1.75 million cartons by 2017, with 1.3 million already being packed this year. The newest Envy™ variety is also a much desired newcomer in the premium segment. Just introduced in the USA two years ago, it is already seeing the second best price quotation after Autumn Glory ($50/box), well above Pink Lady and Braeburn ($25/box). The Envy™ variety is a firm, crunchy apple that is sweeter and bigger (60 to 90 mm). Extra plantings of this new exclusive Envy™ variety are being created in New Zealand and also in South Tyrol, with 150 hectares. The current European Jazz™ season is also going very well, as Tony explains.
“We are also seeing a lower European harvest than expected again. We started in October with the same high prices as we had in March, more than 25% above the level of 2012,” Tony points out.

Posted on

FROM offers new products on the Russian market

from

In the 2012/13 marketing season, From® faced a highly unusual market owing to the poor apple harvest in Europe. The lack of high-quality produce brought a steady rise in prices and the limited supplies were naturally allocated to the most loyal clients. The From® mark’s core markets aligned with the European price levels, highlighting the low elasticity of the demand for particular sizes and specific varieties of this premium product.  
The 2014 season got under way with the European crop trending back to normal, leading to confidence that a more balanced price level may make it possible to increase sales volumes, helping to strengthen From®’s stronghold in its core markets, although brand recognition must always be associated with positive connotations. “The objective for this season is to intensify our communications campaign, remembering always that the goal is to increase brand awareness, which is already high in Russia”, said Nicola Zanotelli. “The new products we are offering in Russia include apple juice and pear juice, which we suggest selling alongside the fresh produce in the fruit and vegetable department”. The feedback from the initial trials has been positive, particularly the repeat buying effect among customers who have tried this product, as there is a big difference in quality compared to anything else on the market. The main Russian markets have a strong import structure that does not allow sales strategies to be updated. Specifically, the major retail companies are served by big importers that have become increasingly well adapted to acting as an interface between the European suppliers and the Russian supermarkets.

Posted on

A good season for the Cuneo Red Apple PGI

cuneo red

Cuneo red apples are the most attractive ones grown in the Piedmont region of Italy and the new promotion campaign for their PGI, the Identificazione Geografica Protetta della Mela Rossa Cuneo, is under starter’s orders. It will be run by Assortofrutta through the three PO (producer organisation) members of the PGI’s Protection Consortium: Piemonte Asprofrut, Ortofruit Italia and Lagnasco Group. In this segment of the Piedmontese fruit sector around 200 farms have already registered with the PGI control system, with an estimated overall turnover of €13 million. Emphasizing the special quality of red apples from the Granda (big) province of the Piedmontese valleys, the slogan claims: “Bite into the mountain: quality grows high up!”, setting an almost colloquial tone for the explanation of this recent European recognition that begins: “APPLE, will you tell us about the Cuneo PGI?”. It only takes a few words to respond to the consumers’ desire for quality, and “red, crunchy and sweetly melting” is the unprecedented collection of adjectives that reveals the ‘mystery’ of just how good these prized Cuneo PGI apples are, in all their four varieties: Gala, Red Delicious, Braeburn and Fuji, briefly glimpsed in the background graphics.
As Domenico Sacchetto, chairman of Assortofrutta and of the Cuneo Red Apple PGI Protection Consortium, commented: “This is an important start to help to increase brand recognition and strengthen the nutritional and sustainability values associated with it, both in Italy and abroad. For this reason we thought we would do an online promotional launch on the social networks as well, to ensure high visibility and reach the greatest number and diversity of new customers through a dedicated fan page.” Offline, the major retailers will provide the stage for in-store marketing and various types of consumer sales promotions to complement the cross-media communications through both trade and generalist channels. 

Posted on

Melinda: 40% more exports by 2017

melinda

The Melinda consortium, one of the biggest Italian apple producer organizations, aims to achieve 40 % export volume growth by 2017, in comparison to 2013, both by increasing exports to existing destinations and by increasing the number of destinations, particularly outside the EU-28 area. Regarding the conditions in both its own production and the market in general, Melinda anticipates that its own export volumes will trend upwards over 2013/14.  Melinda will back its plans through a significant increase in the resources it devotes both to advertising and promotion in support of its importer partners’ direct selling activities and to generating demand among consumers.  In the course of the 2012/13 season, Melinda exported over 60,000 tonnes of apples to more than 40 countries.  European destinations still take two-thirds of the volume exported, but both African nations like Libya (up by 119.19%) and Middle Eastern countries (a 47.98% rise) are showing an excellent growth trend. Nevertheless, Melinda’s main export markets are still Spain (11.3% of total exports), Algeria (9.7%), Germany (9.7%), Libya (8.89%), Romania (7.68%), Denmark (7.5%) and the Middle East (7.3%).   As regards organic apples, Melinda’s 2013 crop is estimated at around 1,700 tonnes. Melinda – together with Assomela – has obtained EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) certification, and it shows that apples are the fruit with the lowest carbon footprint (370 g CO2/kg) and also have very low water and land use footprints ( (78 l/kg and 0,92 m2/kg respectively). In 2013, Melinda’s continuous commitment to increasing “true sustainability” also led to its launching a project called HYPOGEUM: the plan is to build a 50,000-tonne cold store equipped with DCA (Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere) inside a mountain between now and 2020. It will be the first facility in the world to store apples underground in a DCA. This project once again confirms Melinda’s strong commitment not only to building up its business but also to protecting the environment.

Posted on

Apofruit exports grow by 40%

apofruit

The year 2013 ended well for the Italian group Apofruit, indeed, all three companies– Apofruit Italia, Canova and Mediterraneo Group – registered increased turnover in spite of the lower volumes they had handled.  The kiwi crop was down by 8%, but the quality was better than in the previous year so a greater proportion of supplies was available for marketing. The situation was different in apples and pears, however, where volumes were up by 15% and 5% respectively compared to 2012. 
The group strengthened its strong international impetus still further and the proportion of its turnover generated on foreign markets reached 40%. The regions where Apofruit increased its business most were the Middle East and Far East. Confirming how strategically important these new markets are to the group, Apofruit chose the Asia Fruit Logistica exhibition in September 2013 to present its new brand, Solemio, which is reserved exclusively for its kiwi sales on far Eastern markets. 
Canova, 100% controlled by the Apofruit group, specialises exclusively in marketing organic fruit and vegetables. Its sales are up by 8% compared to 2012, largely thanks to the steady growth of its Almaverde Bio brand. Already a leading mark in the Italian organic produce market, Almaverde Bio is increasingly appreciated and in demand among consumers in other European countries.

Posted on

The Marlene® competition started in January

marlene

From an Italian to a European Brand. This is the path taken in recent years by Marlene®, the brand-name for apples produced by the VOG Consortium, which in 2014 will once again be at the center of an intense promotion campaign in various European countries. It was launched in January in Italy and Spain with a high-impact Marlene® Competition. In both countries, this offers 4 top prizes consisting of a whole week’s free holiday for 2 people in the South Tyrol, at Vitalpina Hotels Südtirol, plus 400 gift vouchers of €40 each for clothing and accessories from the Spreadshirt online store. Until 31 March all Marlene® apple purchasers will be able to take part in this competition simply by connecting to the www.win.marlene.it website and typing in the 9-letter code hidden under every blue apple sticker. After entering their personal details, the purchasers will immediately find out if they are among the 400 lucky voucher winners who will take part in the prize draw for the fantastic top prize. From February through until springtime, Belgian consumers too will be able to try their luck in this exciting competition. In all the countries where the competition takes place, a whole series of supporting communications activities are programmed for its duration, including online and offline advertising, point of sale advertising, social media marketing and intense PR activities. “As it approaches its twentieth birthday, Marlene® continues along the path of European expansion”, comments Gerhard Dichgans, Director of the VOG Consortium. “After the successes achieved in Italy and Spain, our prime brand is setting out to conquer other European markets, where we are confident that operators and consumers will be able to recognize, appreciate and reward the values of quality, expertise, territorial identity and flavour that distinguish it”, Dichgans concludes.