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The first Indian grapes have arrived in Europe last week, they have met a difficult market full of South American fruit. This is adding to problems ongoing from 2010's CCC residue issue which devastated the Indian grape export.
Nina Patil from Fresh Express agrees that the market is slow at the moment. The company's first Thompsons seedless arrived in the Czech Republic this week and two more containers will arrive in Rotterdam next week, following this there will be shipments to CIS, South East Asia and the Mediterranean. She said a lot of effort has been made to ensure grapes meet EU and retail supermarket standards. Grape samples are sent to European Labs, before harvesting and packed for export only after meeting required MRL standards. Although for the first time since the residue issues grapes are being allowed into Germany the volumes are very small and the big retailers are still not taking them.
According to Nina people are still apprehensive about Indian grapes, despite a series of confidence building measures by the Indian Government and members of the Grape Exporters Association of India. "Indian grapes are the same quality as, any other grapes in the market, but people are offering a much lower price for them and Indian exporters are objecting to this".
Fresh Express is exporting 50% less grapes this season compared to 3 years ago. More are going to the domestic market and also for raisins. The total amount which will be exported this season is not known, Nina first wants to study the market and then decide how to proceed. The company is also looking at new markets such as expanding sales in SE Asia. "Being Grower – Exporters, a definite advantage is we own and can control the entire process from end to end, and thus the confidence in our product."
Nina says the way ahead is not to compromise on price,
because the quality of the grapes remains high and she is confident of the
company's product and believes things will improve soon.
For more information:
FRESH EXPRESS LOGISTICS
B - III, M.I.D.C.,
MIRAJ 416 410.
Sangli. Maharashatra, India
Tel: +91 233 2644725
Fax: +91 233 2644170
Mob: +91 93 25355512
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