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Chilean kiwi – diversification push focused on Asian markets

Chile is looking to expand its range of options and thus will continue to seek new alternatives in Asia. As for Europe, it will maintain its presence there but to what degree will depend on the openings that the new European season starting at the end of 2016 brings, as early reports anticipate a significant drop in production – of about 15% – in that market

Exports during Chile’s 2016 kiwi campaign, which began a week late, are expected to slip to about 175,000 tons.

While weather has played a role in this slowdown, the difficult context that faced European producers last season also had an impact, especially in Italy and Greece, with their records of overproduction, small calibres, low prices and large volumes in storage until very late in the season.

All of this held back what is usually an early start by Chile in markets which are normally running low in stocks at the end of the Northern Hemisphere campaign.

As Europe had become a depressed market, Chile’s shipments there dropped from 45% to 38% its exporters turned to Asia for better prospects. India is a good example of why – the country used to take 800 tons but this year has imported a record 3,000 tons, equivalent to 240% growth.

Likewise, imports into China have risen 100%, from 11,000 to 22,000 tons. “Demand in China is growing and also its own crop. Its domestic production is supplemented by imports and that makes it a very attractive market for Chilean exporters.

The size of this market will increase insofar as the Chinese distribution system is able to absorb and mobilise both local production and imported produce, especially to its inland and more distant provinces,” said Chilean Kiwi Committee president Carlos Cruzat.

Chile is looking to expand its range of options and thus will continue to seek new alternatives in Asia.

As for Europe, it will maintain its presence there but to what degree will depend on the openings that the new European season starting at the end of 2016 brings, as early reports anticipate a significant drop in production – of about 15% – in that market.

“The world supply has increased in both volume and market reach, and the results will reflect the quality of the fruit and, of course, the costs,” Cruzat said.


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Ecuador can now export its mango to China

Promising outlook Ecuador’s new mango campaign due to greater volumes, high quality fruit.

Thanks to a short winter and excellent weather during harvest, Ecuador’s new mango campaign is one of optimum quality. And what’s more, experts predict the volume will be up 10% on last year.

In 2015, exports totalled 11.3 million boxes of mango, but Ecuadorian exporters expect to go above the 12 million mark in the 2016 season, which runs from October to January.

Their main market is the US, which takes 90% of Ecuador’s mango exports.

However, a new market has opened which could change how the future unfolds for the sector. In January 2016, a new protocol allowed imports of Ecuadorian mango into China, the full impact of which has yet to be seen.  

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France: a prominent exporter

Exports play a decisive role for the French fruit sector, accounting for 46% of production.

Exports play a decisive role for the French fruit sector, accounting for 46% of production.

For some products, this share reaches almost 50%, as is the case for apples and kiwis. The main partners are the EU member countries, especially the neighbouring countries including the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. Switzerland is the largest fruit export destination, taking a 40% share of French exports outside the EU (with 100,453 tons), followed by Algeria and countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the latter country’s exports rising 32,000 tons, up 39%. Exports to Algeria came down 15% to 59,000 tons as the country is investing more in local crops, though Africa is the second continent for French exports due to increased demand in Egypt and Senegal.

Russia is no longer an unavoidable actor due to the embargo declared in August 2014, while exports to Latin American countries are falling because of the various economic crises in Venezuela and Argentina. Apples account for 73% of all exports, followed by peaches, nectarines and apricots. Demand for French high quality is rising in overseas markets.

French imports

In 2015, the top imported fruit into France was still bananas. More than 80% of banana exports from West African countries like Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana enter French ports first. Banana exporting countries like Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Rep. and Surinam (59,000 tons, down 26%) also ship big banana volumes to Dunkirk and Le Havre. Morocco is sending more of its oranges and clementines, up 24%. Importers in Rungis/Paris buy their offseason produce directly in South Africa (112,000 tons), Chile (43,000 tons) and Peru (42,000 tons). The Tunisian market for ‘Maltese’ oranges is stable at 37,000 tons. Argentina’s export difficulties are also seen in the data, down 28% to 23,000 tons. The top imported vegetables are tomatoes, mainly from Morocco. Imports from this country are stable. Several off-season vegetables are imported from several countries in Africa and Israel.

Retail in detail: 60% market share

In 2015, retail represented about 60% of total fresh produce sales in France. Carrefour and Auchan, the two market leaders, further increased their market share to 27.2% and 17.4% respectively. Leclerc followed with a more difficult year, but had a good performance with its fresh produce department. It is known that the discounter Lidl now has a 2.5% share, though for Aldi the data are only an estimation.

Increased spending

Last year (2015) was marked by a sharp rise in spending by households on their fresh fruit and vegetable purchases, up 5% from 2014 and well above the 5-year average (+7.8%). This progression is all attributable to the rise in average purchase prices (+5.5%). Indeed, the quantities bought are stable (-0.5%) at the level of their five-year average. The frequency of purchase thus remains at the highest level (66 purchasing actions), accompanied only by a very small decrease in quantities purchased per action (-0.5%).

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Auchan focuses on proximity & responsible sourcing

In response to consumer expectations, Auchan is also now placing more emphasis on organic products and sustainability

With 143 Auchan hypermarkets, 455 Simply Market and A 2 Pas neighbourhood stores and 162 drive-ins – and a 9.1% market share in fruit and vegetables as of March 2016 – Auchan is a major fruit and vegetable operator in France. Its supplies in France are mainly sourced by its Scofel buying arm, which has seven depots located in the French production basins and at Rungis serving the various Auchan formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets, drive-ins, e-commerce, fresh-cut stands, sushi stands, etc.) and also other operators. “This multi-channel distribution means Scofel works simultaneously with large volumes and small quantities. Our range is both very wide and very deep, with over 450 different products at any moment,” said Auchan’s chief fruit and vegetable buyer Philippe Beyaert. Nearly 70% of purchases other than citrus fruit and exotic products are sourced within France, including 36% locally and regionally, of which 3% are bought directly by the stores themselves. Imported products are bought by the Zenaco purchasing office in Alicante (Spain), which serves all the Auchan stores in Europe. The main import origins are Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, Morocco at the start of the season and Italy. However, Zenaco also buys bananas from Ecuador, the Ivory Coast and the Dominican Republic, pineapples from Costa Rica, pomelos and sweet potatoes from the US and tomatoes from Poland, among others.

Organic and responsible

In view of the consumers’ demands for healthy products and to ensure supply continuity, a year ago the group began to develop ‘responsible Auchan supply chains’. “A responsible Auchan supply chain is based on long-term respectful partnership, good eating quality and traceability and strong social and environmental involvement,” explained Philippe Beyaert. “The aim is to lead the growers into progressive initiatives to reassure consumers.” Five responsible supply chains have already been developed for fruit and vegetables: organic carrots from the Landes, Samba variety potatoes, Golden Altitude apples from the Limousin and the Alps, Corsican clementines and kiwifruit from the Adour. Two or three more are under development and the aim is to reach around 20 responsible Auchan supply chains for fruit and vegetables. Another growth sector is organic products, which currently account for 5% by volume. To complete the range of organic products sold in its hypermarkets and supermarkets, in 2012 the group established Coeur de Nature, a volume supermarket devoted to organic produce, and in September 2016 it opened a Coeur de Nature neighbourhood store. Increasingly the group is also focusing on proximity, developing its 500 to 3000 m² Simply Market stores and, for the past three years, its ultra-proximity A 2 Pas superettes with under 500 m² floor space.

The growth of e-commerce and fresh-cut products

Auchan sells 85% of its fruit and vegetables in hypermarkets and neighbourhood stores. The other 15% are sold through drive-ins, whether free-standing (Chronodrive) or attached to hypermarkets, and through Auchan Direct, the Internet ordering and home delivery service. These two sectors are seeing strong growth. The products are mostly sold under the Auchan, Auchan Bio and MMM brands for top-of-the-range items and under a logo showing a thumb for the ‘best price’ range. There is also a Rik et Rok brand for children, with products such as seedless watermelons, seedless grapes and cherry tomatoes. However, branding developments are under study following the Paris District Court’s decision to annul the Simply and Simply Market brands as being too generic. As the group’s motto is “the best fresh fruit and vegetables at the best price”, all year round the stores have an island display of seven fruits and vegetables, such as bananas or round tomatoes, for sale at under €1/kg. Auchan has also recently been developing the fresh-cut niche. ‘La Fraîcherie’ stands for the start-up of the same name are gradually being installed in all Auchan hypermarkets, while the smaller stores offer self-service fresh-cut products.


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Interview of the Month: How Bayer can support growers along the food value chain

Four questions to Ronald Guendel, Global Head of Food Chain Relations at Bayer Crop Science

In the Interview of the Month from issue 146 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine we put four questions to Ronald Guendel, who is the global head of Food Chain Relations at Bayer Crop Science. Here Guendel addresses topics including how Bayer tailors integrated crop solutions according to sustainable agricultural principles in order to help its partners enhance food safety, quality, yield, and traceability

Why is Fruit Logistica important to Bayer and what are your points of emphasis at this year’s event?

Fruit Logistica is the most important international trade fair for fresh produce. Next year will be Bayer’s 12th year in attendance—a decision we have never regretted. The contact we maintain with our customers and partners along the entire value chain at Fruit Logistica is simply invaluable. Over the last dozen years, our participation at Fruit Logistica has continuously evolved and taken on new significance. In the beginning, the trade fair was an important platform for us to invite farmers to join our Food Chain Partnership initiative. Over the years, our network has grown considerably. Today, the fair gives us an opportunity to network efficiently and stay in touch with key individuals along the entire value chain. In 2017, one of our main focus points will be the cultivation of European fruit and vegetable and how Bayer can support growers and other participants along the food value chain to ensure even better sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint.

What exactly is the Food Chain Partnership? Can you explain the initiative’s focus and reach?

Food Chain Partnership is an innovative business model that we at Bayer have developed so we can work closely with growers, traders, processors and retailers. We started this initiative in 2005, mainly as a reaction to public concerns about food safety and residues in fruit and vegetables. At this time, the industry was called upon to address the need for greater food safety, with consumers placing increasing importance on products that are produced sustainably and can be traced back to the producer. Our main role is to act as a facilitator and bring together the partners along the food value chain by sharing our expertise. Based on individual local needs, we develop tailor-made integrated crop solutions according to sustainable agricultural principles that help all partners involved enhance safety, quality, yield, and traceability. Today, about 70 Bayer food chain managers work in 30 countries around the world, focusing on more than 50 different crops. Our initial focus was on fruit and vegetables. But this successful model was recently expanded to include field crops such as oilseed rape, wheat and rice. The majority of our projects are in Europe, Latin America and Asia, but the number of initiatives in Africa and North America is increasing.

Bayer Food Chain Partnership became part of the GLOBALG.A.P. protocol, in order to start certifying stakeholders. What value does the Food Chain Partnership add to existing protocols

GLOBALG.A.P. focuses on Good Agricultural Practices and sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. In 2014, we formed a cooperative partnership with GLOBALG.A.P. to help small- and medium-sized farmers in developing countries implement sustainable cultivation practices and comply with local quality and certification standards in order to eventually obtain recognition (localg.a.p.). Bayer customized its BayG.A.P. service program to the requirements of the localg.a.p. standards. It follows a three step approach, consisting of training, farm advice, and verification support for farmers. Participating farmers benefit from certified high-quality produce that they can sell at higher prices to enhance their income. Traders and retailers benefit from the consistent high quality of the products, enhanced safety, and traceability. The program has gained traction and is expanding globally. So far, we have initiated 18 pilot projects everywhere from Africa and Asia to Europe and Latin America. On top of that, we’ve already received very positive feedback from farmers and food chain partners. And we’re only getting started.

What is the extent of Bayer Food Chain Partnership programs in Asia and in the Americas?

We’ve initiated numerous projects in Asia and Latin America across a broad range of crops. In Asia, it’s mostly projects for fruit and vegetables, especially potatoes and rice. India is a very good example. We’ve initiated several projects to promote good agricultural practices there, and the results have been extremely promising. Through a project on table grapes, we helped increase yields by an average of 7% and improve produce quality at the same time. And our guidance throughout the crop cycle resulted in a 35% higher grower net income. Besides India, we also initiated projects in China, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia. In Latin America, we’re working with farmers in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and other parts of Central America—in Guatemala, for example, where we’ve partnered with the exporter SIESA Group to support small-scale growers in producing high-quality vegetables. All of our project partners have enjoyed clear benefits. With our help, the vegetable farmers can produce more exportable produce and sell at higher prices, SIESA can protect its market share by exporting safe products, and their retailers can promote the high quality and safety of the products to domestic customers.

Siesa partnered with Bayer in its Food Chain Partnership initiative in 2008. The Guatemalan company benefits from intensive training in good agricultural practices and technical recommendations in order to achieve the best possible quality.

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Sunny markets return for seed potatoes

The seed potato crop now covers almost 80,000 ha in North-West Europe

The main countries producing seed potatoes are the Netherlands with 40,180 ha (unchanged compared to 2015), 20,023 ha in France (+3.2%), 15,912 ha in Germany (-2.4%) and 2,257 ha in Belgium (-9.2%). Annual changes in the multiplication area indicate which variety is finding its place on the market or which is hardly moving. The chart gives the figures for the last 5 years for the main varieties by category.

Mid-early varieties gaining space

All the main varieties in the early segment are declining, while the mid-earlies are gaining space. Premiere is present in the 4 countries but comes second in the earlies ranking, behind Sinora, due to a sharp decline (21%) this year. Friselander, Anosta and Berber complete the top-5. In mid-earlies, Felsina (multiplied only in the Netherlands) is on the rise. Artemis (fresh market) is decreasing and Miranda remains steady. Processing factories are looking for fewer earlies and mid-earlies as they want to continue later and later into July with old crop tubers kept in high-performance storage facilities.

Varieties for seed export markets

This is a very competitive market where it is hard for new varieties to find a place. Spunta always leads the ranking thanks to demand from the whole Mediterranean basin (the South of Europe and North Africa), and this year has gained some hectares, rising to 8,000 ha in these 4 countries. Desiree, Kennebec and Jearly are increasingly produced less and less and replaced by a lot of varieties adapted to local growing and ware conditions. The European export trade is mainly towards the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe.

Varieties for European fresh market

Annabelle dominates the firm flesh category (waxy potatoes) but is losing hectares for the second consecutive year. Charlotte (mainly multiplied in France) is increasing this year but has been on an up and down trend for the past 10 years. Hansa and Nicola are decreasing but still ahead of Allians. Jazzy is booming and has taken over the 6th place from Cilena which has been falling for 4 years now. In floury varieties, Agata is by far the top variety, ahead of Monalisa. Both are present only in France and the Netherlands, with similar areas in each country. In this category all the breeders are searching for a variety with a (very) high yield, good washability and an acceptable frying colour to supply the European and export markets. As this is not easy to select, the existing varieties are holding their place.

Processing varieties

These varieties are being pushed higher by fast growth in European processing activity, with major developments worth noting: Bintje (-19%) has slipped to 4th place behind Fontane (+23%), which has clearly taken over the leadership, Agria (+12%) and Innovator (+10%). Challenger has lost 18% and returned to its 2014 level. All the other major varieties are also on the increase with the exception of Ramos (-35%). Lady Anna is booming (+75%) at almost 400 ha of seed multiplication. The crisping varieties are dominated by Lady Claire, with more than 1,000 ha, despite a 15% fall this year. It is followed by Hermes (+24%), Lady Rosetta (-4%), Pirol (+4%) and VR808 (+8%). Changes are expected in this category in the coming years.

Fast improvements inorganic varieties

Organic potato production has been increasing very fast in recent years. Varieties with more resistance to late blight are difficult to develop so a variety like Agria is still mainly used (thanks to its relatively good tolerance to late blight on the leaf and very good French fry quality). Carolus, Vitabella and Sarpo Mira are going up considerably. The other varieties in the top 8 are going down.


Seed potato image: ‘Early Rose variety seed tuber with sprouts’ by Mathias Karlsson (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons



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Polish producers dream of Silk Road to China

Poland hopes to deliver 4 to 5% of its produce to the Asian market.

The Grójec region started shipping apples to China this autumn after the visit from a large Chinese delegation last spring that included 20 representatives of importers, distributors and commercial organisations interested in importing Polish apples.

“The delegation included Chinese apple organizations from the province of Fujian, who were greatly impressed by our modern machines and sorting line in our group’s packhouse,” said Bartłomiej Brodzik, manager of the grower’s group Appolonia. The visit bore fruit because days later Appolonia signed the first contract for a shipment of 40,000 tons of apples to China.

“We see great perspectives for beginning cooperation. For our group and the whole Polish apple sector, it is a great opportunity to sell our excess volume, which wait in warehouses all winter or get stored until early spring,” Brodzik said. 

Other varieties and new markets needed

This relevant opportunity for export to China also raises other difficulties for Polish growers. “Our apple varieties, which were traditionally sold in tens of thousands of tons to Russia, don’t exactly suit Chinese consumers. We need to develop bicoloured, softer and juicier varieties that would better meet their preferences. This is a structural change that will take some years,” Brodzik said.

Another factor that influences apple sales is the rather low price of apples in the Polish market now. For the time being, the price of dessert apples for processing has been so low that harvesting them has not been economically justified.

“The long-term price forecast isn’t too optimistic for our apple producers,” underlines Brodzik. The growers’ groups in the Grójec region are also actively looking at sales opportunities in other markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to give a chance to export fruit surplus and further develop the sector.

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China opens its door to more imports

China continues to increase its trade deficit in fresh fruit, with a 33% jump in imports of fruit from temperate zones in 2015

According to UN statistics, in recent years China’s imports of fresh fruit and vegetables have exceeded its exports, a trend that continued in the first half of this year. In 2015, China’s tropical fruit imports reached 2.9 million tons, up 8% yoy, and fruit imports from temperate regions climbed 33% to 0.75 million tons.

Thailand was again the biggest fruit exporter to China in 2015 – its 1.7 million tons accounting for 57% of the total volume – followed by the Philippines and Ecuador. The latter two being big exporters of bananas.

Though China is the world’s second largest banana growing country, with about 12 million tons annually, it is eager to top up its banana stocks, especially over winter, taking imports of 0.95 million tons.

Its imports of the high quality Ecuadorian banana rose to 283,00 tons but the opposite occurred for bananas from Costa Rica – which went from supplying 11,000 tons in 2014 to almost none in 2015.

Dragon fruit the king with 813,000 t

In 2015, Chain’s main import, other than bananas, tropical fruits by volume was dragon fruit (up 30% yoy to 813,000 tons), lychees and longan (405,000 tons), durians (300,000 tons), watermelon (200,000 tons) and mangoes and mangosteen (113,000 tons).

Thailand is the source of more than 90% of this fruit and dragon fruit accounts for about half of its tropical fruit exports to China. It is also the exclusive exporter of durian and dragon fruit. Vietnam exports 148,000 tons of fresh lychees and longans, both stalwarts on Chinese menus. Malaysia and Taipei supply China with mango, as does Australia with modest quantities in the off-season.

The volume of all fruit imported by China from Vietnam in 2015 was just over 158,600 tons, down 10% on 2014. Imports from Myanmar remained stable at under 70,000 tons. Indonesia and Malaysia both export less than 10,000 tons a year.

548,000 tons grapes, citrus, cherries and kiwifruit

China’s total imports and exports of deciduous fruit, kiwifruit and citrus are increasing constantly. In 2015, grapes had the largest volume (251,000 tons), followed by citrus (215,000 tons), cherries (92,000 tons), kiwifruit (90,000 tons) and pears (8,000 tons).

The biggest exporter of these kinds of fruit is Chile, which with an export volume of nearly 200,000 tons – mainly consisting of grapes and cherries – accounts for almost a fifth of China’s total. The US comes second with 126,000 tons – up 50% yoy.

Promotions have helped the US almost double its citrus exports to 40,000 tons, while South African citrus is a winner in summer (100,000 tons). New Zealand ‘Jazz’ apples found their way to Chinese supermarket shelves, while Zespri could overcome its tax problems with the Chinese authorities. Exports of kiwifruit increased more than 50% to 66,000 tons. In 2016, New Zealand surpassed the US and Chile to become China’s top apple supplier.

The market for Australian and Egyptian citrus opened up and exports reached 35,000 tons and 21,000 tons respectively. China’s neighboring country Uzbekistan is a larger supplier of grapes.

EU fruit shipments down since 2015

In 2015, the volumes of EU fresh fruit exports to China went down to 24,000 tons. Citrus imports achieved a poor 4,000 tons, while imports of kiwifruit from France and Italy went down to 12,000 tons. In 2016, a special effort was made to ship trial volumes of Belgian and Dutch pears and bi-colored apples from Poland. For 2017, Spain has high hopes for the results of a protocol signed between it and China allowing it to export peaches and plums there.

Since the Russian food embargo was applied in 2014, fruit and vegetables formerly exported to Russia have been partly reoriented towards certain Asian countries such as China and the Philippines, markets which were already open before 2014.

South East Asia – China’s main partner

On the export side, Southeast Asia remained the key market for China’s fruit, with Thailand at the top by far, followed by Vietnam and Malaysia, in terms of volume, Data shows exports to these countries have increased substantially every year. China’s top fruit exports are apples, grapes and citrus.




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Climate targets spark innovation to meet cooling demand

A major increase in cooling demand is colliding with the European Union’s ambitious climate and energy strategy which sets strict targets to achieve by 2030. Among them are the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% on 1990 levels and increase energy efficiency by at least 27%.

A major increase in cooling demand is colliding with the European Union’s ambitious climate and energy strategy which sets strict targets to achieve by 2030. Among them are the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% on 1990 levels and increase energy efficiency by at least 27%.

Moreover, the EU is entering a new phase in fluorinated gases (F-gases) regulation in which the availability of one group of them, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), will be cut 79% by 2030.

Current uses of HFCs include as a refrigerant in cooling systems, but they are known to act as a greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming. The overall package of EU measures will force the cold chain to focus on the issue of emissions and develop alternatives with less environmental impact.

When it comes to refrigerants, ammonia is one such alternative. “The use of ammonia (NH3) – a naturally occurring refrigerant with zero ozone depletion and global warming potential – offers a wide range of benefits. It is future proof as it will not be phased out by new legislation and offers higher efficiencies than HFCs,” said Aiden Perks, business development manager (South East UK) for Star Refrigeration.

The company has developed low charge ammonia packaged systems which require only a fraction of the refrigerant charge associated with traditional refrigeration systems. The systems are not only more efficient than HFC options, they also have a lower life cycle cost, pose zero risk to employees and the new units cost less than conventional ammonia installations.

Another innovation in the cold chain is the use of liquid air or liquid nitrogen. Dearman Engine Company – which is developing novel zero-emission technology to provide cooling and power – is working on an innovative novel piston engine powered by liquid air or liquid nitrogen. The only exhaust is cold air.

Liquid air or nitrogen is boiled to provide a high pressure gas that is used to fuel transportation vehicles. During the process, cooling is created which is harnessed to cool the load of the vehicle. The process of liquefaction is a very trusted one, said Dearman’s global ambassador Tim Fox. It is over 100 years old and present in every industrialised nation. Moreover, the distribution and storage technology and infrastructure are mature.

The use of the Dearman technology offers abundant benefits – zero-emission at the point of use, reduced noise, lower fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions, to name but a few. On-road commercial trials will begin shortly.

So although it looks like a lot is hitting the cold chain sector – a huge increase in demand and many new regulations – there are also many innovative solutions helping propel the sector towards a bright future.


Top image: European Commission: 2030 Energy Strategy


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1,500 exhibitors at WorldFood Moscow

More than 30,000 trade visitors from 81 Russian regions and 96 countries attended WorldFood Moscow 2016, once again confirming the event’s importance.

More than 30,000 trade visitors from 81 Russian regions and 96 countries attended the fair, once again confirming the event’s importance.

“Russia is our largest market, and since 2013 the volume of exports there has kept growing,” said Jorge Manobanda, business manager of the company Delindecsa.

“Currently, 40-50% of Ecuadorian bananas are sent to Russia. However, this season was different: the volume of banana crop in Ecuador has decreased, so the shipments to Russia decreased accordingly. We still expect production will increase as of week 45, however.”

Delindecsa exports its bananas to the Middle East, Greece, Italy and the US, but Russia with 40% of exports remains the largest market. Participation in WorldFood Exhibition in Moscow enables the company to meet its clients and find other potential customers.

Uzagroexport unites producers from Uzbekistan

Navoiy Agrovet Farm is part of the holding of Uzbek producers Uzagroexport, exporting fruit and vegetables since 1999 mainly to Russia and Germany.

“We supply a large range of dry products, including melon, squash, onion, carrot, potato and herbs. The dry vegetables are available all year round,” said Abdusattor Nigmonkhodjayev, director of Navoiy Agrovet Farm. “We also export fresh fruit in summer. Our partners are Russian and German retailers.”

The representative of the holding took part in the WorldFood Moscow exhibition in order to expand penetration into the Russian market.

Maroc Citrus streamlines its Russian market

 “We succeeded in streamlining our citrus market two years ago,” said Hassan Zouhry, one of the representatives of Maroc Citrus at WorldFood Moscow Fair. “Now the export market is more organised; though the export volume has decreased, the quality of the citrus fruit supplied is higher, and the prices became higher respectively, which is more profitable for Moroccan farmers.” However, the professionals of the sector are brought to face significant challenges.

The production recorded 2 million tons thanks to investments made by the industry; besides the area planted with citrus orchards in 2016 amounts to 120,000 ha, which exceeds the goal set by the government. Another challenge is the situation in the Russian market – the largest client for Moroccan citrus. “Some 40 % of all production volume is shipped to Russia,” Zouhry said.

“Last season we were had no difficulties in export due to embargo imposed at European and Turkish citrus. This year Turkey, our main competitor, will probably come back to Russian market, and the volume of supplies may decrease.” It means the producers need to diversify the export markets. That is why the combined efforts of all the operators of the sector are required, along with the coordination and support of Maroc Citrus Federation.

Since its creation in 2009, Moroccan Interprofessional Federetaion of citrus (Maroc Citrus) has been working hand in hand with governmental institutions to develop and promote the national citrus industry. Its aim is to strengthen the citrus sector in terms of production, valorisation and marketing. The ambitious program adopted in 2008 by Moroccan government intends the commitment of all the players of citrus sector, and today’s results are very optimistic.

Clementina among the successful Moroccan exporters

“Russia has traditionally been our main market,” said Hicham Rhissassi, business development director. “Russian consumers choose our products for their taste, appearance, etc. At the same time, thanks to the high strictly controlled quality of our fruit we can diversify our markets and supply countries such as Great Britain, Canada, the US. Saudi Arabia and Arabian Emirates have been developing at a fast pace; China is another key market with exceptional potential.

There is a special committee in Morocco surveying the quality of exported products and regulating the volume of export for each company. It helps to structure and to orchestrate our market.”

Stable market for Egyptian produce

Russia remains one of the principal clients of Daltex. “The current market situation there is stable; we continue our partnership with the same customers, although their purchase volume has reduced,” said Daltex marketing director Mohamed El Kahhal. Daltex has been diversifying its markets, supplying potatoes to the Middle East and to Europe.

As for citrus fruit, Asia in general and China in particular seem to be the most promising markets. “It is probable we will extend our assortment with own carrot,” said El Kahhal. “Last year its offer was excessive and many players may disappear, then we will take their place at the market.” In order to provide better customer support, Daltex has opened numerous branch offices all over the world.