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Georgia increased its export of stone fruit and will raise its potato crops

Georgia increased its export of peaches and nectarines by 40%

By the end of August, Georgia exported more than 23,000 tons of peaches and nectarines, or 10,000 tons more than YOY in 2019, informed the Ministry of Agriculture of the country. Fruit are basically exported to Russia (15,500 tons), Armenia (730 t) and Azerbaijan (500 tons). The rest was exported to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland and Slovenia. Pilot lots were also shipped to Singapore and Qatar, informs newsgeorgia.ge agency.

Thanks to CIP, Georgian farmers will raise their potato crop

Three years ago, the International Center of potato (CIP) initiated the project intending the development of potato production in Georgia. In the frame of that three-year project, 76 new potato varieties were introduced for the selection, and after careful trials, the most suitable varieties in terms of yield and disease resistance were selected for production in Georgia. The negotiations regarding the second stage of the projects are being currently held.

“The representative office of CIP in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is the regional headquarter for 7 other Caucasian and Central Asian countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenia and Kirgizstan,” says Rusudan Mdivani, regional delegate of CIP. “We opened several laboratories of in vitro selection of potato in some of these countries and carry out the researches devising to test new genotypes, adapt them to local climate and soil conditions, etc.”

Potato is the strategic product for Georgia, it is one of the most popular vegetables in consumers’ everyday diet. Thanks to CIP’s project, Georgia will not just satiate the domestic market, but will help to expand the export to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and even to Iran.

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Grant of 1 million USD for Georgian farmers

Grant of 1 million USD for Georgian farmers

EU and FAO are going to grant 1 million USD as the financial support to small farmers of Georgia (Caucasus) who had suffered due to the pandemic of COVID. This grant will be divided between farmers of 22 municipalities for drip irrigation systems. “Thanks to their installation, the crop of vegetables will grow. Food safety is the key for stability in these troublesome times,” stated Karl Khartsell, EU Ambassador to Georgia.

EU sponsors the agriculture and rural development of Georgia in the frame of ENPARD. The main goal of this program with total budget of 179.5 million euro is to reduce poverty in rural Georgia.

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Nikora Trade, the largest Georgian retailer

Nikora Trade

Founded 17 years ago, the Nikora Trade company began its business producing and trading in meat products. By developing and diversifying its activities, the company has kept opening more stores and with a larger assortment. The holding currently has 12 companies with 2,600 employees. In addition to 125 Nikora premium supermarkets, it operates through the recently acquired chain of Nugeshi stores: 24 discounters and 64 kiosks with high traffic.

“The competition in Georgia has been toughening,” said Nikora Trade category manager Giorgi Nairashvili. “For instance, Carrefour, which is a very strong player, has recently entered our market. Our advantage is that Nikora is not only a retailer, but also a manufacturer of meat and some other products, so we can offer the best choice and prices for our customers.”

Last year, Nikora Trade began to develop the fruit and vegetable sales in its stores. “Fruit and vegetables are currently our priority,” Nairashvili said. “We’re going to build our own cold stores and import fruit directly.” Domestic horticulture offers a variety of fruit and vegetables during the season, but post-harvest treatment and storage are not very developed so the retailer is looking for partners who can ensure regular supplies, uniform products and good quality.

“Georgian farmers are increasing hothouse production of tomatoes, greenery, etc., but we still have to import numerous vegetables from Turkey and China,” Nairashvili said. “We also sell a lot of bananas, pineapples, coconuts, citrus and apples. Through direct import, we can ensure better quality and prices, and we are glad to participate in Fruit Forum in Barcelona where we hope to find partners for our future projects.”

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Georgia increases its fruit and vegetable export potential

From 2009-2013, exports of fresh vegetables and fruit from Georgia grew by 17% in volume to reach 101,000 tons. Over the same period, they also doubled in value to exceed US$ 200 million.

Georgia has started actively increasing the export potential of its fruit and vegetable industry, according to APK-Inform Agency and based on official statistics for the country.

From 2009-2013, exports of fresh vegetables and fruit from Georgia grew by 17% in volume to reach 101,000 tons. Over the same period, they also doubled in value to exceed US$ 200 million.

In many ways, this trend reflects a reorientation of Georgia’s fruit and vegetable sector towards exports to the EU due to strained relations with Russia. This reorientation has seen the EU share of general exports from Georgia grow from 12-20% in volume and 50-57% in monetary terms.

While showing a fairly modest share in the volume of export supplies, European importers provide more than half of all foreign currency revenues to the Georgian fruit and vegetable industry.

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Image: “Georgia proper shown in dark green; areas outside of Georgian control but claimed as part of its sovereign territory shown in light green” by Chipmunkdavis [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Goodwill: Georgia’s first hypermarket chain to focus on premium products

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Goodwill Ltd “never compromise on quality,” according to its commercial director Beqa Petriashvili. By 2015, the retailer had opened 7 hypermarkets: 4 in Tbilisi and 1 in Rustavi, Gori and Batumi each. And this year, the company is going to open 2 new hypermarkets.

“We sell 50,000 SKU in our stores; 25% of the products are produced for us by local suppliers and we import another 25% directly ourselves. This enables us to guarantee high quality and freshness as well as the best processes,” said B. Petriashvili.

“We are going to increase the share of direct imports. As the result, we will be independent of distributors, control the whole logistics process and optimize prices.”

The main exporting countries for Georgia are Turkey and Iran, due to the country’s location (Tbilisi is 2,000 km from Istanbul and the goods are delivered by sea).

At the same time, after the introduction of an embargo in Russia, European exporters began to look for new markets and Goodwill is getting offers from them every day.

Modern Retail since the 2000’s

The modern retail sector is quite new in Georgia. The first chains opened in 2000 and their share does not exceed 15%. However, it has been developing very quickly and the competition has been toughening. This is why Goodwill has made a commitment to quality; its customers know they can find innovative products and specialties.

“We are glad to introduce novelties for our clients and we will diversify the sources of our range,” Petriashvili said.

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This article is from issue 137 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more free content from that edition online here.

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