"The main markets demanding our apples are Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and the Far and Middle East. Of course we cannot be compared to the big companies in Trentino Alto-Adige, but still, we manage to sell our produce abroad. For example, take Granny Smiths, which are very popular in international markets yet there is hardly any demand for them domestically."
The sales manager is hoping for a profitable campaign, "as it would balance out the cherry campaign, which did not go very well. Rain affected quantities and quality, so we had to reduce exports to Germany and Great Britain, our main markets."
With regards to the next kiwi campaign, Stafano states that "Cherry Passion only exports the Hayward variety, but at the moment we are waiting for fruit to reach the minimum sugar content required. As far as we know, the last ship of produce from New Zealand arrived in Europe during week 44, and so we are also waiting for supermarkets to finish off this supply."
According to Stefano Pezzo, the only uncertainty for the 2013/14 kiwi campaign will be represented by competition from Greece, as "it is almost impossible to sell Italian kiwis in Russia before Christmas nowadays."
The situation of imports
Concerning imports, Cherry Passion is finishing with Dutch vegetables (tomatoes and peppers) and lemons from Turkey. "Prices of vegetables were rather low, but still did not stimulate demand, so much so that we sold the same number of pallets as last year."
The Turkish lemon season was more stable. "Prices were slightly higher than 2012 and there was less competition from Argentina. We have almost finished with imports as we do not want to overlap with the Spanish produce, which arrived on the market early," says Stefano.
Not everybody knows that Interdonato Turkish lemons are different from the Italian and Spanish ones, they need to be cut lengthways as juice cells are the other way round. "They look very good, but this characteristic could make them less appealing to Italian consumers, as they are not used to cutting lemons this way."