With its headquarters in the Verona Market, Continental Fruit shifts a turnover of 20,000,000 kg, with main products including strawberry, grape, stone fruit, citruses and vegetables. Export & Sales Manager, Danielle Bagnara, said that due to the highly changeable weather, prices have been strongly affected, especially in the stone fruit sector: “As it’s a seasonal fruit, good weather is a deciding factor which affects the end customer’s purchasing decision. If it isn’t hot enough, sales go down. Moreover, we forecast a drop of 25% to 30% less in summer fruit volumes for 2014.” Along with its main market, Italy (80%), Continental supplies countries abroad such as Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria and Poland. “We’re interested in opening up to emerging countries, where we see consumption rising; the problem is that many of them fail to guarantee payments and the risks are very high”, explains Bagnara. Despite the hardships facing the sector, through excellent logistical organisation, speedy deliveries and direct trading Continental Fruit has built up a close relationship with Italian large-scale distribution, based on trust, effort and aptitude. Besides being present in the Verona market since 1978 as a point of sale, they have managed to create a bridge between producers and small- and large-scale distribution. To this end, they have created a B2B network (business to business commerce) of producer companies from the EU and other countries overseas, maintaining close-knit relations with Spain, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Morocco, South Africa and Argentina.