This data emerged in a meeting with Ernesto Fornari, manager of Canova - the company part of the Apofruit group and licensee of the Almaverde Bio organic brand - and Paolo Pari, manager of Almaverde Bio, during FreshPlaza's visit to the plant in Longiano (Emilia-Romagna) specialised in the processing of organic Almaverde Bio produce.
Paolo Pari and Ernesto Fornari.
"In particular, it is difficult to expect the domestic market to grow further, but we must consider how we have managed to keep a leading position. Even though the private part is not doing so well, the brand records +8%, so they balance out."
The plant in Longiano, the most important among the 12 active in Italy. It has 24 cold storage units that can store 115,000 quintals, high-tech grading lines for kiwis, peaches, nectarines and plums as well as a 1,000 sq m area for collection, storage and fresh-cut processing.
On the foreign market, the overall increase is of +37% and not only for a single product -e.g. one might think about kiwis - but for stonefruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums), citrus fruit and various vegetables.
The sales office of Canova - domestic market, export and trading offices.
Processing and packaging areas.
The processing and packaging areas.
"The performance of organic seedless grapes in the long run is very interesting, but we can see that everybody is innovating, thus confirming the increasing appeal of organic products."
"Results are excellent in Germany, and also in Sweden, France and Switzerland, not to mention the UK, to which we went back with grapes and nectarines."
Fornari also stresses the increase in specialised stores and the supply of small volumes alongside big clients.
On the right, Raffaele Rossi, warehouse manager.
"We must also highlight the work we carried out with a strategic product like kiwis. We dealt with stored domestic produce until the end of July, then we went on with the one from Chile and at the moment we are going back to the Italian one."
Organic kiwi grading.
Canova's three key words are range, services and brand policy. The fourth option, or rather the ace up their sleeve, are the guarantees such a sound group can provide.
This is how they managed to reach €32 million in sales in the first six months of the year (+10% with respect to the same period in 2012) and expect a turnover increase of +10% for the end of 2013, thus reaching €70 million.
Carrot processing and packaging line.
Almaverde Bio's sector is going through a positive phase, also thanks to the decision of some retail chains to create bio islands (in the photo below). "A specific place where consumers can find the high-quality, range and guarantees that only a well-known brand can supply. The increase in sales went over 20%," points out Paolo Pari.
In this sense, Almaverde Bio proves to be a reliable partner that can guarantee significant sales performances.
"Despite a 4% drop in consumption, the organic market is growing, and we are doing well thanks to an increase in general sales and the introduction of our products also in discount stores, which are looking to widen their offer," concludes Paolo Pari.
Loading and shipping area.
Almaverde Bio is writing a new chapter in the marketing book where the winning strategy combines exports, brand policy and characterisation.