The Italian kiwi sector is showing a commitment to quality and a partnership of its leading forces in order to conquer Asian markets. This is why the Origine Group was formed, uniting nine of the largest Italian producers. “The signs emanating from the Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong show that consumption of our product is growing in the Asian markets we deal in, making us optimistic about the 2016 campaign. Our focus must be on quality because consumers, in Italy and Europe, too, demand ever higher standards, so, if we want our product to be valued, we need to give value, and giving value means meeting expectations. Quality is obtained during the season, and the product must be up to the required standards since the consumer is always looking for a good and recognisable product,” said CEO, Alberto Garbuglia. This is why the Sweeki brand unites some of the leading Italian producers. “In Hong Kong we organized an event to present ourselves to the Chinese market. We were able to identify our distributors there and establish a budget for promotions, both in sales outlets and on social media, with interesting results,” said Garbuglia. Undoubtedly, these plans will be affected by the fall in Italian production and the scarcity of the South American product. “This decrease in volumes returns us to a situation of normality following a boom year, but with a high level of quality. We feel confident because the terrible harvest in Chile means that the South American product is quickly running out, so, demand should be high,” said Garbuglia.
The French brand Prince de Bretagne is aiming for consumers not to put the product in the fridge, but to leave it at room temperature. “The reason is because it loses flavour in the fridge. Historically, consumers have placed tomatoes in the fridge, but we want to raise awareness that this is wrong,” says Prince de Bretagne’s head of products, Pierre Gelebart.
Prince de Bretagne, with certifications such as GlobalGAP and Corazón de Coliflor, works with 2,300 producers who grow different vegetables such as cauliflowers, tomatoes and artichokes.
CMO Savéol is offering new types of tomato packs for consumers to take to work, on excursions, travelling or wherever. One of them is the “pop mix” with red tomatoes, while another is the orange “sunny mix”. These products from the French company specialising in tomatoes are very tasty and are even as intensely sweet as yellow cherries. “We are trying to innovate a little and we intend to get some new specialities up and running, with pre-washed products. Our idea is for these fruit and vegetables to be eaten directly. It’s the same concept as take-away food,” the French company’s commercial head, Mélanie Delanoe, assures us.
CMO Savéol is an agricultural cooperative with its headquarters in France and 130 farmers producing the widest range of tomatoes on the French market. Indeed, they produce over 30 varieties; in total, 80,000 tons a year. As well as tomatoes, the French firm also works with strawberries and cucumbers. They all have the taste and quality characteristic of CMO Savéol: a guaranteed quality with the best certificates on the market such as IFA and GlobalGAP.
With increasing scrutiny on food safety, JBT FoodTech introduces a patented Bin Scrubber System aimed at better cleaning of field bins. JBT’s Bin Scrubber System is unique in its ability to really scrub bins, with a brush. “With our technology it takes as little as 15 seconds to clean a bin, so this is faster and cleaner than other systems, even those done by hand or by other competing machines that only use high pressure water,” said manager Hassan Khan. The system is 100% programmable and designed for use on plastic and wood bins. Field bins are delivered to the scrubber on an automatic line which recycles the water. A cradle elevates and tips the bin onto a brush head that spins and scrubs hard to reach surfaces and corners while high pressure nozzles spray the exterior of the bin clean. The result is consistently cleaner bins and long-term utility cost savings because the system uses recycled chlorinated water and low horsepower motor to reduce energy costs.
Unitec’s response to service and enhance the blueberry business goes by the name of Blueberry Vision Unitec Technology, able to select and classify the quality of this highly valued fruit. Blueberry Vision Unitec Technology is the first technology worldwide to inspect the entire surface of the fruit. This new and fundamental feature opens up a new frontier in blueberry quality selection and classification. Thanks to this innovative technology, parameters such as the degree of ripeness and firmness can be analysed on 100% of the fruit, as well as external and internal fruit defects and the classic parameters of size and colour. With the innovative patented Blueberry Vision Unitec Technology, fruit and vegetable pack-houses can obtain guarantees for the fruit quality selection and classification stage and always offer fruit with consistent quality over time to their Clients, ruling out the possibility of claims over fruit that fails to meet the agreed quality standards.
The most popular fruits exported to China from Thailand are durians, called the ‘king of fruit’; mangosteens, the ‘queen’, and longans.
“We have partner farmers and packing houses in various regions of Thailand, which is why we can ensure an almost year-round supply of fruit,” said Pakpum Bhagpabhakorn, director of PP Fruit, who participated in the China FVF expo in Beijing this year.
He explained that the longan season is from June to September in the north of the country, and from November to February in the east. The mangosteens are exported from April to September, while the durian is also available for 6 -7 months a year.
“Fruit from Thailand is highly appreciated all over the world,” Bhagpabhakorn said. “In the first place, our climate is very favourable for exotic fruit production. Also, we have been introducing modern technology and our farmers are very experienced. No wonder, then, that Thai fruit exports keep growing year in, year out.”
PP Fruit is part of the Thai fruit traders and exporters’ association, which promotes their premium fruit internationally. “Fruit export is our main business. We have long-term relationships with our clients from Hong Kong, Indonesia and other Asian countries; we began to export to China six years ago,” he said.
Image: Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)
A full and diverse agenda was carried out by prestigious, specialised and experienced professionals at the 6th IBO Summit 2016 held in Concordia, Argentina, and Salto, Uruguay, attended by over 400 exhibitors and visitors from around the world
It is an annual meeting of countries that produce and export blueberries under the umbrella of the International Blueberry Organization, which for the first time chose two neighbouring countries as hosts.
The words of welcome were given by outgoing president, Andrés Armstrong, who welcomed Carlos Stabile, president of the Argentinean Blueberry Committee, and Marta Betancur, the head of Upefruy, the Uruguayan blueberry committee, a coorganiser of the event.
Activities during the event
On September 20-21, at the Conventions Centre in Concordia, Argentina, a series of talks kicked off in which quality, replacement of varieties, markets, social responsibility, post-harvest, logistics, health and more featured in the content of the 20 speakers, drawing over 400 attendees from Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, the US, Canada and other countries.
There were tours to see packaging plants, nurseries and plantations in Uruguay and Argentina included in the event’s activities, in which attendees had the opportunity to get to know in depth the excellent daily work done in one of the most significant and productive regions in the Southern Hemisphere.
The closing ceremony was headed by Argentina’s Minister of the Interior, Public Works and Housing, Rogelio Frigerio, and the Governor of the Province of Entre Rios, Gustavo Bordet, who pledged to support the development of blueberry production in Argentina and to solve the problems of competitiveness that still persist in this sector.
IBO announces new president
The IBO is a global organisation bringing together leaders from around the blueberry world in all segments of the industry, including blueberry producers and marketers, affiliated businesses, social groups and governmental organisations worldwide. They come together to learn, share, increase understanding, distribute information, address mutual challenges, coordinate potential solutions and explore opportunities. Ultimately, the organisation exists to advance the health and sustainability of the blueberry industry.
During the IBO Summit, the group announced Peter McPherson would take the reins as the new president. McPherson, general manager of Berry International at Australia’s largest integrated fresh produce company Costa Group, said his election was an honour.
Incoming IBO president Peter McPherson, general manager of Berry International at Australia’s largest integrated fresh produce company Costa Group.
“Given Mother Nature’s influence on our business, every day presents new challenges, and given the generic nature of the IBO, we will continue to add value to all growers as the industry continues to grow – after all, that’s what the IBO stands for. Hence, we will strive to raise the bar with greater quality of information flow via the various forms of social media to assist this growth,” he said.
McPherson said the next IBO Summit will take place in China but the timing is yet to be confirmed.
“The committee has made a conscious decision to rotate the event on an eighteen-month basis between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres so as to align with production. It is thought this will encourage greater global participation and give value to members and industry suppliers seeking innovation going forward.”
Russia’s fruit imports have decreased less than expected, dropping from 6. 3 million tons in 2013 to 5 million tons in 2015.
All players in the fruit and vegetables market are well aware that fruit imports into Russia have decreased significantly since the food embargo it introduced in 2014. Indeed, from 6. 3 million tons in 2013, Russia’s fruit imports fell to 5.6 million tons in 2014 and to 5 million tons in 2015, the country’s customs data shows. A deep market analysis was presented during WorldFood expo during a conference organised by RK Marketing and FruitNews media. It included well-advised speakers such as Ilya Vinkler from the research consumer panel GfK Russia.
Abrupt cutback in value-added categories
Imports of nuts, dried fruit and kiwis into Russia have decreased the most, by 57%, 50% and 49% respectively. Other fruit that suffered most are apples (-35%), tropical fruit (-33%), pears (-32%) and grapes (-30%). But imports have remained almost the same in some categories – bananas, citrus and kaki – and in the case of melons and watermelon increased 21%. What is remarkable, however, is that fruit imports overall would have shrunk more under the embargo, if not for some fruit being imported illegally. Belorussia has notably become one of Russia’s top three suppliers, soaring from fruit exports of 208,000 tons in 2013 to 829,000 tons in 2015. Russia has a low level of domestic fruit production, something that has not changed much since the embargo. However, the amount of Russian-grown deciduous fruit (apples and pears) has risen from 614,000 tons in 2013 to 642,800 tons in 2015, that of grapes from 342,500 tons to 362,000 tons, and berries from 12,260 tons to 14,700 tons. Meanwhile, the stone fruit crop has shrunk from 40,300 tons to 29,900 tons. It is worth remembering, however, that 46% of Russians own a plot on which they grow their own fruit and vegetables to eat fresh and many also preserve and freeze them for winter.
This is an excerpt from an article which appeared on page 26 of edition 146 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here.
The sixth edition of the IBO Summit took place in Concordia, Argentina, and Salto, Uruguay, over September 20-22.
Organised by the International Blueberry Organization (IBO), the event attracted over 400 exhibitors and visitors from around the world.
Here is our snapshot of some of the leading companies present there.