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VI.P focuses on technology and quality service

VI.P has 7 cooperatives and 1,730 producers who work in the Venosta Valley in the Italian Alps.

The Horticultural and Fruit Co-Operatives Association, Val Venosta (VI.P), has noteworthy innovations such as BIOgraphy, a traceability and transparency system by means of which the end customer can consult the website www.biography.vip.coop to find the farmers that have grown every one of the apples from VI.P’s organic line and where the fruit comes from.

As for the rest of its production, a QR code on its apple labels and on the back of its packaging links smartphones and tablets to the website www.lookbehind.vip.coop, where videos and texts on where each piece of fruit comes from are available.

In addition, VI.P is working on expanding its range of club varieties, including apples like Kanzi©, Envy© and Ambrosía©.

Furthermore, it is keeping up its investments in maintenance and improving structures, automating the third warehouse within the association of cooperatives and installing a new waxing line for the red varieties to add to the three existing ones.

VI.P has 7 cooperatives and 1,730 producers who work in the Venosta Valley in the Italian Alps.

Every year it harvests an average of 350,000 tons of Val Venosta apples, its main product, distributing them among 50 international markets, most notably Italy (which accounts for 50% of the produce), Germany, Scandinavia, eastern countries, North Africa and the Middle East, where it plans to continue to expand its penetration.

Spain accounts for 7-8% of VI.P sales.

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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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Italian apples to delight more distant markets

Across the 28 EU countries a total harvest of about 12 million tons is expected - down 3% on 2015.

Even though prices have recovered slightly and the quality of Italian apples is just perfect, the European market has not yet restored its pre-embargo balance. This season will not be easy, but it offers new opportunities, especially in long distance markets.

The Italian apple season wound up after a complex business year characterised from the outset by several critical factors. The 2015/16 season was a difficult for sales, which started with high hopes last autumn, but turned out to be much more complex than expected.

The most significant of these include one of the biggest ever European harvests, the stifling of Polish apple exports by the Russian embargo, and political and financial instability in the Mediterranean area, which caused a lot of damage and brought most direct sales in North Africa to a halt.

Everyone knew the market was going to shrink, but such an abrupt cut-off, especially in Libya and Algeria, was unexpected. These factors, which put pressure on prices throughout the campaign, persuaded Italian apple exporters to focus more closely on long-distance markets for the upcoming season 2016/17, such as Brazil, India and South East Asia.

On the other hand, the euro/dollar exchange rate may encourage exports to markets around the Mediterranean Sea and further afield.

Estimates for European crops

Estimates for the 2016 European apple crop were published in early August, at the “Prognosfruit” congress in Hamburg. From a quantitative point of view, across the 28 EU countries a total harvest of about 12 million tons is expected – down 3% on 2015. But this total figure conceals big differences between the various European growing areas.

Poland bucks the trend, as it is forecast to be the only country to achieve a new record harvest of more than 4.1 million tons, +4% compared to 2015. In the rest of the EU28 states, the harvest is estimated at 7,855 million tons, a drop of 6% compared to 2015.

Subzero temperatures and frosts at blossom time led to severe damage in some countries around the eastern Alps. Austria and Slovenia have been hit very hard, with their crops decimated, but smaller harvests are also predicted in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as well as farther north in Belgium.

South Tyrol: better quality for 2016

The first forecasts for 2016 are out and once again the total for the Alto Adige region will exceed 1 million tons. The Italians expect a fine quality crop and very bright start to the season. In quality terms, the 2016 harvest is expected to be much better than last year’s. As crops did not suffer the same heat peaks as in summer 2015, this year’s apples are of good quality and texture – ideal for storage and long shelf-life.

This article first appeared in edition 145 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more apple and other fresh produce industry news in that issue here: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct