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Italy: Agreement between Melinda and La Trentina

There's something new in the Trento fruit sector - Melinda and La Trentina, the two leading producer organisations in the Trento area, have signed a "historic" deal. The two parties will set up a common organisation for the commercialisation of products that will respect both brands. 

After the success of the previous test carried out on cherries, the Presidents of Melinda and La Trentina - Michele Odorizzi and Rodolfo Brochetti (in the photo above) respectively - signed the agreement in the presence of Federcoop President Mauro Fezzi, councillor Michele Dallapiccola, Apot President Ennio Magnani, managers and executives as well as solicitor Fabrizio Marchionni.

An important step for the future of the local apple sector that will bring multiple benefits to both companies - from the improvement of sales and service management, to the improvement of internal resources. It will also be an occasion to work towards common objectives such as the selection of the best fruits and the achievement of more sustainable productions. 

"There are multiple reasons behind our choice to sign this agreement. First of all, we need to change our mentality, going from competition to cooperation. But not only that, we need to organise the production phase on a provincial level: our area is particularly suitable for the production of high-quality fruit, so we need to fulfil its potential. This agreement will give us a single commercialisation strategy, which is important to tackle the market as a unit and not to overlap supplies," explained Michele Odorizzi.

In the future, there might also be room for other producers. However, at the moment, it doesn't seem likely that the agreement will evolve to become something else: Melinda and La Trentina have in fact invested considerable resources on their own brands. "Basically we just need to promote the investments we've already made."

La Trentina President Rodolfo Brochetti explained that the agreement is made up of a transitional part (valid for 2017) and a definitive part for the future. "The final objective is to create an entity capable of managing the commercial phase for both POs. Producers will remain in charge of the industrial part. This leaves room to promote typical productions. Let's not forget that we also grow Dro plums and kiwis."

"Another important thing is varietal assortment. Together with Apot, we are working to reduce Golden apples in the less suitable areas to replace them with new varieties. We hope all this will lead to reorganisation on a provincial level."

Cooperazione Trentina President Mauro Fezzi said it was a "poignant moment for provincial fruit cultivation. Cooperation is a tool in the hands of producers and a way to make the smaller businesses grow, as the market is requiring increasingly bigger subjects. Other operators may become part of it in the future."

Ennio Magnani from Apot added that "we have always worked to the make subjects talk. They were already cooperating on an institutional level, they just needed to do it on a commercial one. Aggregation is the future of fruit cultivation in the Trento area. There are no alternatives if we wish to remain on the market and satisfy producers."

Councillor Michele Dallapiccola said that "this agreement is a way to tackle the weakness caused by fragmentation. I am pleased with what they've achieved but there is still a lot that needs to be done."

Publication date: 8/30/2017


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