"The Italian kiwi season started late due to the prolonged availability of New Zealand product on the market. The situation now seems to be better. We sold very little in October and November 2018 but managed to increase volumes in December 2018 and January 2019," explains Giovani Galatà, president and sales manager for Op Orizzonte in Melicucco (RC).
"We have 30% more stock than last year and prices are a little better. We work with the golden Soreli variety, sold in October and November, and with the green Bo-Erica and Hayward varieties. Only Hayward kiwis are available at the moment and, for our PO, the campaign will end in March."
For the sale and packaging of its products, the Op works with Cooperativa Le Cerasare. The produce is exported to the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, India, Uruguay and Europe (limited volumes).
"We mainly ship 9 kg pallets overseas. The US and India both require cold treatment during transit, while Australia requires it before shipping. This year, we also increased our exports to Taiwan in 3 kg packets."
Galatà explains that, from the point of view of logistics, it is easier and cheaper to ship overseas than to travel by road to northern Italy or northern Europe. We are lucky as the Gioia Tauro port is just a few km away."
As for the citrus fruit campaign, Op Orizzonte works with cooperatives Giovinazzo and San Bartolo, who commercialize products such as oranges (Navel, Tarocco, Washington, Moro, Sanguinello), tangerines, clementines and lemons but also pomegranates and peaches.
"The clementine season did not start well and continued even worse due to the weather: it was not cold enough between October and December, so the fruit did not react well to processing. What is more, competitor countries such as Morocco and Tunisia are taking our place also due to their lower costs."
"It seems to be a good year for oranges. We started twenty years ago with the Tarocco variety and it will soon be the turn of the Washington, only to end in May/June with Valencia.
Citrus fruit is shipped by road to Italian and Eastern European markets such as Poland and Ukraine.
Thanks to the cooperatives mentioned above and contracts made with local processing factories, the PO manages to promote green tangerines, used to make oils, essences and concentrates.
"Two-three years ago, we also started working with pomegranates. There is a lot of interest for them in our area and many orchards are being planted. This year, however, plants produced little due to the excessive summer rain. Last year was a good one for peaches and nectarines as commercialization was good in May, June and July.
"Op Orizzonte aims at promoting its brand through the high quality of its productions. The skilful hands of operators taking care of the fruit day after day exalt the organoleptic qualities. What is more, the PO holds certifications such as Haccp, GlobalGAP, BRC and ISF.
With 500 members and crops covering 1,500 hectares, the PO manages to supply considerable qualities. The Organisation will attend Fruit Logistica 2019 (Berlin, 6-8 February), in Hall 2.2/Stand A07 as part of Regione Calabria.
Giovanni Galatà - president/sales manager
Cell.: +39 333 9992057
Antonio Zangari - technical manager
Cell.: +39 339 4121144
Op Orizzonte Soc. Coop. Agr.
Via A. De Gasperi, 5
89020 Melicucco (RC)
Tel.: +39 (0)966 930325
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org