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500 thousand cardboards for Altromercato in 2012 and just as many this year

Italy: No crisis for fair trade bananas

Fair trade bananas hold on, in fact, unlike the "traditional" produce, there are no changes in imports and consumption in the Italian market.

Ctm Agrofair Italia, a company specialised in the distribution of Fair Trade fresh fruit established in 2004 as a joint-venture between the Ctm Altromercato consortium and Agrofair Europe bv (Netherlands), says how volumes have remained more or less stable in the past few years.

Francesca Taviani, purchase and quality manager for Ctm Agrofair, explains that "in 2012, the Altromercato group distributed both organic and integrated control bananas from small Fair Trade producers for a total of 500,000 cardboards, 70% of which under the Altromercato mark, the leading fair trade brand in Italy." 2013 should end with more or less the same numbers. "Fruits come from Ecuador and Peru and, as of next week, we should have stable supplies also coming from the Dominican Republic," adds Taviani.

"Luckily, our warehouse in Albenga (Liguria) is full of work despite the difficult economic circumstances. The situation of the food market in Italy in 2012 showed that consumers have a lower purchasing power with respect to 2011. In addition, prices are higher because of the inflation, so a further 1.5% drop in consumption was recorded in the first five months of 2013."

"There is some good news from the Nielsen 2012 report, at least, as it highlighted how consumers are more careful about the quality of the product they buy, with a 6% growth for Private Labels, which guarantee higher quality and social standards. Altromercato bananas fall into this category, as high quality, transparency, controlled and certified supply chains and guarantees from a social and environmental point of view characterise the label."

Retailers are the main sales channel, as alone they absorb 65% of bananas, and the share will increase next year. Botteghe del Mondo is next with 15%, followed by wholesalers and H&R with 10% each.

It is difficult to talk about a trend in prices, as they vary a lot depending on whether the product is loose or packed. Anyway the key regions are all in Central-Northern Italy.

For further info:
Francesca Taviani
Resp. assistenza clienti - Customer care
CTM Agrofair Italia Srl
Via Crispi 9
39100 Bolzano
Tel.: (+39) 0471 941190

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