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Macfrut mission to South America

Macfruit President, Renzo Piraccini, answered some of our questions at Medellin airport. He went to Colombia, together with Mauro Camicia from IILA (Istituto Italo-latino americano) and Enrico Turoni (President of Cermac sector consortium) to present the Macfrut fair (Rimini, 10-12 maggio 2017) to leading companies in Bogotà and Medellin.

The Italian delegation with the Colombian vice-minister and operators 

FreshPlaza (FP): What was the welcome like?
Renzo Piraccini (RP): I would say there has been great interest. Some entrepreneurs came last year as visitors, some even came as exhibitors. In 2017, we will have ten exhibitors from Colombia as well as a delegation of professionals.

Left to right, Adriana Mojica, Juan Pablo Pineda Azuero and Renzo Piraccini

FP: Who did you meet in Colombia?
RP: We met the Vice-Minister for Agriculture Juan Pablo Pineda Azuero, CCI director Adriana Senior Mojica, ProColombia, and some producer organisations. Then we visited some companies. The first one was a vegetable producer with 27 hectares of greenhouses. It's located 50 km north of Bogotà and sells to the domestic market. It mainly cultivates all types of salad. They are interested in Macfrut because they are looking for new technologies and techniques to implement. Colombia grows around 9 million tons of produce a year, of which 1.8 million are exported. 90% of exports are made up of bananas, which are cultivated near the oceans. The production of lemons, avocados, mangoes and other minor fruits is also being developed.

Lettuce producer in 27 hectares of greenhouses  

FP: And what about exports?
RP: We visited Andes Export. It grows its own products and also collects it from producers who own 1-3 hectares on average. It focuses mainly on Physalis and Passion Fruit and specialises in both fresh and dried produce. Last year, they attended Macfrut as visitors and, considering the contacts they made, they're planning on coming back. They export a lot to Europe and mainly to Holland. The owner is a Belgian, Johan Beckers, who has been living in Colombia for 19 years. They are looking for technology too, especially for what concerns packaging and export services. 

Physalis packets

FP: Does the country import produce as well? Can relationships be established with Italian companies?
RP: Colombia imports a lot of fruit, 350 thousand tons a year. 100 thousand tons are made up of apples from Europe and Italy as well. They imported kiwis from Italy for many years, but imports are blocked at the moment due to phytosanitary issues.

Physalis processing

FP: How is Colombia doing economically?
RP: "From what I've seen in Bogotà, Colombia doesn't seem to be a poor country. The big cities don't seem too different from some European cities. Monetary Fund data regarding 2015, however, reports a per-capita income of $13,800 against the $35,700 in Italy, just to give you an idea. 

Physalis being dried (photo by RP)

For further information:
Cesena Fiera

Via Dismano 3845
47522 Pievesestina di Cesena (FC) - Italy
Tel.: +39 0547 317435
Fax: +39 0547 318431
Email: info@macfrut.com
Web: www.macfrut.com 

Publication date: 3/20/2017


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