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Mazzoni announces excellent quality this season

The Mazzoni group is able to satisfy any type of request from its clients and its state-of-the-art facilities guarantee product quality.

An apple season of excellent quality is forecast by the Mazzoni group, which at 35,000 tons is one of the biggest marketers on the Padua plain, and exports to over 44 countries around the world, from India to Dubai and from Libya to Northern Europe.

Commercial manager Sergio Trevisan said since flowering ended it has been clear a very positive year lies ahead.

“The varieties that have already been harvested, like Modì® and Gala, are showing superb colour and good sizes, and the same can also be said for the new cloned varieties,” he said. 

In the past decade, Mazzoni has stopped working with some types of apple, including traditional varieties like Stark and Morgenduft, in order to focus on just a few, such as Gala, Granny Smith, Pink Lady®, Fuji Melapiù, Modì® and Golden Delicious.

This has allowed the group to handle major volumes to meet the demands of the international market.

The Mazzoni group is able to satisfy any type of request from its clients and its state-of-the-art facilities guarantee product quality.

 

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Espárrago de Granada increases asparagus production 20%

Espárrago de Granada's main market is Germany, followed by Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland. The latter has been on the rise for the past two years and is increasingly demanding more produce.

This second-tier cooperative consists of 5 first-tier cooperatives producing top grade asparagus in Granada, with some plantations in Malaga. It currently has 500 ha in production, which increases 20-30% annually, equivalent to 3 million kg of asparagus, with all certifications required by the European market.

Espárrago de Granada manager José Antonio Sánchez said growing its own produce makes the coop unique, “as we have continuity and can control quality from the minute the seed is sown.”

“We’re usually in the market a week in advance and we have more uniform produce, as we have plantations in two areas,” he said.

The large variety is the one most widely planted, but the company is also trying out new cultivars from Dutch seed nursery Lin, but although Sánchez thinks they will do quite well, it will take a year to certify that everything is running smoothly.

Espárrago de Granada’s main market is Germany, followed by Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland. The latter has been on the rise for the past two years and is increasingly demanding more produce.

Growth is also being seen in Scandinavian countries and the UK.

 

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Graziani: Growth and 360 degree quality

Over the past three years, Graziani has expanded its production capacity in its main product lines by 10% a year and increased its exports of edge-boards and straps by 15% a year, particularly towards key markets such as Latin America.

Graziani has been a top name in packaging materials for fruit and vegetables since the early 1980s.

It is both a family firm based in Mercato Saraceno (Forlì-Cesena area) and an international player, supplying around 40 countries on all five continents. Its corporate mission has always been 360 degree quality and its strong points, in which it is among the leaders at international level, are edge-boards and strapping, two universal products used in almost any shipment of produce.

To make it even more efficient and competitive and better able to satisfy the demands of its clients, over the past year Graziani has implemented a corporate renewal process in every department, both focusing on more qualified human resources and equipping itself with the most advanced technological and computer tools that the market has to offer.

This initiative culminates a period of constant growth, as over the past three years Graziani has expanded its production capacity in its main product lines by 10% a year and increased its exports of edge-boards and straps by 15% a year, particularly towards key markets such as Latin America.

“Our strategy for the new season foresees a steadily growing sensitivity in the fruit and vegetable packing and distribution market, particularly towards packaging, the logistics problem and the materials used to ensure safety and competitiveness. In our case, naturally, we are talking about edge-boards and straps,” said Stefano Graziani.

Even if Graziani’s market is the world, right now it is paying particular attention to Central and South America, where demand for the company’s products is very high. Compared to the market average, they provide superior performance while using smaller quantities of raw materials.

This is the result of Graziani’s strong predilection for researching and developing new technologies and raw materials, driven by the conviction that investing in this sector adds value to the company.

This added value is also reflected in sustainable development associated with well-chosen human and technical resources and for the past 30 years has made Graziani a trail-blazer in the fields of fair trade and social responsibility, undertaken with ethics and passion, with ideas and hard work, and with total respect for the future.

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Procitrus: greater presence in international markets

Exports of Peruvian mandarins have made Peru the seventh biggest supplier of this fruit in the world, as well as the most significant exporter in Latin America. With the US, UK, the Netherlands and Canada at the forefront, Brazil now also imports this Peruvian citrus.

Exports of Peruvian mandarins have made Peru the seventh biggest supplier of this fruit in the world, as well as the most significant exporter in Latin America. With the US, UK, the Netherlands and Canada at the forefront, Brazil now also imports this Peruvian citrus.

The 2015 volume of mandarins remained steady

This year’s campaign has seen some variations to the initial forecasts, mainly due to climatic factors associated with the El Niño effect, which led to more discarded fruit than expected. Although the volumes are slightly below last year’s (2%), fruit is expected to continue to come out until October, and in general terms the campaign will end with a similar volume. In 2015, exports came to 115,000 tons, worth US$120 million, meaning a slight rise of 1% on the previous year, following the trend in growth seen over the last decade. There are differences, however, in the varieties exported. This year, tangelo saw a drop from 25,000 tons in 2015 to 20,500 this season, while there was an increase in mandarins from 75,000 to 76,000. 

Peruvian mandarins now sold in Brazil

The trends in international markets have not varied, taking into account the peaks seen in varieties that may appear in the campaign. The early varieties are sent to Europe, where there is most demand at the start of the season, whereas the US bounces back as of June, demanding tangerine varieties such as W Murcott and Tango, leading exports with nearly 30% of the total. The big news is that Peruvian mandarins are now sold in Brazil.

The first consignment was one container of the W Murcott variety. Sergio del Castillo, the manager at Procitrus, underlines that “this means a great opportunity for local citrus, although we are aware that it is a new market that is still being explored.” On the other hand, there is intense work being done with the Asia-Pacific agenda. The most specific progress is seen with Japan, where Peru has complied with all of the information required by the Asian country and awaits a visit from the Japanese to determine the plant health requirements. Peru set out a work plan, which is an important instrument because it specifies how they are going to handle the phytosanitary controls and the negotiations needed to enter the Japanese market. 

Greater productivity and competitiveness for the sector

“We are now working hard on developing training for the entire production side. The Peruvian citrus sector has been carrying out projects focusing on new technology and improvements in processes to make farmers more productive and competitive. As for the commercial side, the association is going to continue to be present at fairs to support citrus export companies for their brands to become established on international markets. As an association, we do not wish to compete with their own sales management. We are preparing to relaunch the quality seal, this time as a brand to be introduced with other varieties for distribution and positioning abroad. Peru has been growing and will continue to do so, but with a longterm vision,” stressed Sergio del Castillo.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 92. Read more citrus and other fresh produce news from that issue at: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct.

 

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The PGI tomato La Cañada campaign is underway

The La Cañada tomato PGI has set its sights on increasing its export volume without reducing quality or taste.

For this campaign, the La Cañada tomato PGI regulatory board has set its sights on increasing its export volume without reducing quality or taste.

The Protected Geographical Indication’s (PGI’s) goal is to introduce new companies and extend the cultivation area.

The La Cañada Tomato PGI kicked off the new fruit and vegetable campaign at the Fruit Attraction fair, held October 5-7 in Madrid.

Regulatory board president Francisco López Martínez stressed the quality of these PGI tomatoes, describing it as “unbeatable.”

“It is the job of the companies that make up the regulatory board to let the world know about it,” he said.

López Martínez said one of the PGI’s aims is to continue growing, “by introducing new companies in the zone in which we already working.”

“This campaign is going to be very important in all senses for the PGI and there is no doubt that we are going to work very hard to meet the targets for volume growth, area under cultivation and companies on the regulatory board,” he said.

The area under cultivation produces smooth, round tomatoes; ribbed tomatoes; oblong tomatoes and cherry tomatoes (including cocktail).

Read more tomato and other fresh produce news from edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine here: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct

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Innovation from AgroFresh reinvigorating an industry mainstay

The RipeLock™ Quality System delivers consistently high quality bananas to help drive sales.

Today’s produce market is often focused on newer, high-value categories, such as avocados and berries, as well as consumer convenience packaging. And while retailers are wise to keep up with consumer trends around these profitable products, it’s also critical not to lose focus on industry cornerstones such as bananas.

Innovation is happening in the banana industry as well. With bananas at the top of most supermarkets’ register rings, it pays to keep inventories and displays in exceptional form, according to AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., a global leader in food quality management.

“The banana category is the largest in retail produce, and serves as a driver for a retailer’s overall produce sales,” said André Vink, EMEA new business development manager for AgroFresh. “If the banana display looks appealing, customers tend to purchase more and feel confident in the quality and freshness of the other fruit in the store.”

New technology helps increase sales and reduces waste

Innovation from AgroFresh is revitalising the banana category — with technology proven to help sell bananas by giving them greater consumer appeal and a broader window of freshness.

The new RipeLock™ Quality System works with the banana’s natural ripening process to maintain optimal color significantly longer than conventional bananas. “RipeLock helps maintain bananas’ ideal visual and edible quality longer,” Vink said.

“This results in more appealing and marketable bananas, which, in turn, can generate higher revenue, improved operations and more repeat customers.”

A recent independent study with 160 consumers in the United Kingdom revealed how RipeLock positively affects banana taste and appearance, which are key factors in buying decisions. Seven out of 10 study participants preferred the quality of RipeLock bananas over regular, in-market bananas.

The study also demonstrated the ability of RipeLock to reduce retailer and in-home waste by maintaining fruit longer at the optimal color and flavor preferred by consumers.

Flexibility to manage fruit supply and labor costs

“The benefits of RipeLock go beyond simply enhancing and extending fruit quality,” Vink said. “It provides retailers and ripeners with the flexibility to manage their fruit supply and labor costs without changing standard handling practices.”

RipeLock is a patented system that offers flexibility and consistency to distributors, ripeners, retailers and consumers to handle and purchase bananas at their preferred ripeness stages.

Additionally, the RipeLock MAP bag maintains ideal humidity levels to extend banana green life while limiting the risk of rots and molds. It also prevents fruit dehydration and reduces fruit weight loss during shipping.

Applied at the final stage of the ripening cycle, the RipeLock application works synergistically with the uniquely-designed MAP environment inside the bags, helping retailers deliver bananas with consistently higher color grades with lengthened shelf life. Application is efficient and requires no extra handling in the ripening process, such as restacking boxes or cutting of vacuum pack bags.

“With RipeLock, you’ll maintain banana quality during backroom storage and have the flexibility to hold fruit longer while maintaining optimal quality for sale,” Vink said. “And store displays will show consistent appeal with fresh-looking bananas, even over the weekend, without restocking and extra deliveries.”

With its initial success, the RipeLock Quality System has gained considerable exposure in European markets and is now available in most European countries, including Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK  — in addition to the US and Canada. 

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more banana and other fresh produce news from that issue at: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct.

 

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MABE Hortifrutícola: 40 years’ production and trading worldwide

Mabe Hortifrutícola supplies its produce to Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom directly, through distributors based in each country.

In business for 40 years now, and with 320 people working on the production and marketing of fruit and vegetables, Mabe Hortifrutícola supplies its produce to Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom directly, through distributors based in each country.

The company handles the entire logistics chain by land for orders placed by its customers.

Peppers and cucumbers are the bestselling products in the destinations cited.

Mabe Hortifrutícola also has subsidiaries in foreign markets.

“Our main operating obstacle, which we have to deal with on a daily basis, is cost.” said Rafael Lopez.

The company works directly with carriers or freight agencies to ensure prompt delivery to its customers.

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Rocca Imperiale lemons: the new PGI for citrus fruits from Calabria

The new Rocca Imperiale lemon consortium aims to focus on sales channels capable of highlighting the excellence of the lemon and strengthening the identity of the PGI product.

The new consortium aims to focus on sales channels capable of highlighting the excellence of the lemon and strengthening the identity of the PGI product.

A new certified PGI product has arrived that will enrich the already wide spectrum of Italian citrus fruits of excellence: the Rocca Imperiale lemon, the most renowned lemon variety in Calabria, whose cultivation and sale is monitored by the newly-constituted producers’ association.

President Vincenzo Marino said the association’s work consists on the one hand of providing visibility to the product by highlighting its value, and on the other of protecting the product by ensuring that the rules are respected.

“The association has a membership of around 60 producers, all located in the district of Rocca Imperiale since it is a single-district PGI. The lemon has three main characteristics: a high percentage of limonene, no lower than 70%; low acidity, never exceeding 5%; and a very high juice content, which must not be lower than 30%.”

A popular reflorescent lemon since it flowers at least four times per year, producing different fruits at each florescence, the Limone di Rocca Imperiale PGI owes its unusual characteristics to the pedoclimatic characteristics of the land where it is produced, which is close to the sea and enjoys a moderate climate despite an altitude of around 200 metres.

“The harvest of this lemon begins in November with il Femminiello and lasts right through until June/July, with the yield peaking between January and May. The difference in atmospheric temperature from day to night also favours the colouration of the skin and the concentration of the essential oils it contains. The annual yield ranges between 100 and 120 tons, with the potential to reach 200 tons within the next two years,” Marino said.

This is a fast-growing product in high demand, and its fame is beginning to extend beyond Italy’s borders. “We are currently working with three major packaging companies operating throughout Italy but also in France, and we are sending some product to Germany, but at the moment we do not have enough product to be speaking of large-scale exportation,” he said.

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Italy exports 60% of its tomatoes

Truss tomatoes are the preferred category and account for 51% of the crop (7,500ha)

Despite the fact of the trend towards healthy food, Europeans are eating less and less vegetables. The rise of convenience foods, ready-to-eat meals and fast foods encourage the consumption of processed foods and relatively small portions of vegetables. Italy is no exception and although it is one of the largest European tomato producers, even in this country fresh tomato consumption has gone down over the last decade. In spite of a rising population, tomato consumption fell by 1.6% between 2008 and 2013, resulting in an average per capita consumption of around 15 kg in 2013. The loss in value was slightly less, falling by 1.4%, said Syngenta portfolio marketing manager EMEA Andrea Launeck during the international conference on ‘Tomatoes, trends towards 2020’ held in April 2016 in Antwerp. According to Syngenta figures, 7,800 hectares are devoted to the production of tomatoes in Italy. By far the largest part are grown in the south, accounting for 5,700 hectares. Over half of the tomatoes grown on Italian soil are different types of truss (US cluster) tomatoes, which make up the largest category at 51.5% (round mini-truss 27%; truss 13% and large oval mini-truss 11%). These are primarily produced in the south and to a lesser extent in central Italy. Another large segment, 16.5%, is reserved for different beef tomato varieties (Cuore di bue 10%, Marmande 3.5% and Beefsteak tomatoes 3%), which are mainly grown in northern and central Italy.

Germany the largest trade partner

Tomatoes and their derivatives were the star products and the strongpoint of Italy’s agrifood exports in 2014, totalling €1.5 billion in sales, reported the National Association of Italian Food and Vegetable Preserves (ANICAV). With over 60 percent of the product earmarked for export and only 40 percent reserved for the domestic market, Italian tomatoes continue to increase their role as ambassadors of Made in Italy products and of the excellence of Italian cuisine around the world. Exports mainly take place in winter and the top 5 exporting partners are Germany, accounting for 33%, Austria, 17%, UK, 10%, Switzerland, 8% and France, 8% according to the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (ISMEA 2014). Imports, primarily during the summer season, come from the Netherlands, which accounts for 39%, Spain, 32% (contrary to other imports, mainly during the winter season), France, 17%, Germany 6% and Belgium 4% (source ISMEA 2014). According to Italian Fruit News, over the years Italian exporters have managed to increase their tomato export prices and create a gap between import and export prices. Whereas the average import and export prices were similar in the 1990s, in 2015 the average export price was steady at around €1.75 while the average import price was about €1.

Supermarkets increasingly the point of sale

Different Italian trading channels target different consumer habits. Roughly speaking, Italians buy their tomatoes at the supermarkets (50%), which offer year-round consistency in volume and quality, or via wholesale markets (30% at grocery stores and street markets, 20% through Horeca), where more differentiation in quality and product types is found. Syngenta is observing a shift in the point of sales of food, which is moving away from grocery stores and street markets in favour of supermarkets, with more and more solutions offered in pre-packed fresh produce and convenience products. 

Based on the presentation by Andrea Launeck of Syngenta, “Tomato market overview and trends – Italy and USA”, at the international tomato conference in Antwerp in April 2016. Not attended.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 109. Read more tomato and other fresh produce news from that issue at: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct.

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World demand grows for Italian seedless grapes

Many of the Italian growers’ new plantings are of the seedless variety but Italian seeded grapes continue to be synonymous with quality and tradition.

Seedless varieties are the new frontier for Italian table grapes, as the steadily increasing demand from consumers and the closure of some markets point in that direction even though traditional varieties maintain their high level of quality.

This year Italian grapes are showing good quality, the yield per hectare has been 25% lower than forecast, acidity is low and degrees Brix high, so it is fair to say that the objectives are being met. Where the growth lies, however, is above all in seedless grapes, and in fact all the new plantings are moving in that direction.

The main problems would seem to be on the export side, where several doors have recently closed.

Fruitimprese vice-chairman Giacomo Suglia said the closing of the Russian market was a real disaster for the Italian sector. “A short while ago, Canada also forbade imports of Italian table grapes, and in the Far East too, a number of markets are still closed,” he said.

However, the world trend is showing clear growth in the demand for Italian seedless grapes and Italian growers are readying themselves for the future.