The Italian apple production system was recently audited by the Thai Phytosanitary Service.
The visit took place on September 30th and was organized by Provincia autonoma di Bolzano with the coordination of the Central Phytosanitary Service together with representatives from the Phytosanitary Services from the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano and from Assomela.
The day was entirely dedicated to illustrating the role and functioning of the Phytosanitary System and its central and regional branches as well as the cooperation between public administration and producers, research and technical consultancy bodies (represented for Trentino Alto Adige by the Laimburg Beratungsring Research and Experimentation Center and by the R.Mach Foundation in San Michele all'Adige).
The tour ended in Rome on October 4th at the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy where the main results were discussed, as well as the steps that will lead to the opening of such an important market.
Thai inspectors visited a few orchards and facilities part of the VOG (Marlene) and VI.P Val Venosta consortia in Alto Adige and of the Melinda consortium in Trentino. The first part of the program ended with a presentation of the underground storing units.
On October 3rd, the group visited the AFE-Salvi facility in Ferrara and a few apple orchards.
Inspectors appreciated the professionalism of operators involved - from the cooperation between technicians and growers to the excellent organization of storage, sorting and packaging centers, which also guarantee the maximum quality and traceability.
The tour was made possible thanks to the cooperation between Assomela, CSO ITALY and Fruitimprese with the support of MIPAAF, the Italian Embassy in Bangkok, the Institute of Foreign Trade in both Italy and Thailand and the regional and provincial Phytosanitary Services. What is more, the Permanent Representation of the European Commission in Bangkok exercised its influence thus enabling Italy to become part of a mission for Germany, Holland and Belgium.
Fruitimprese president Marco Salvi is "pleased as regards the mission, as it confirms the potential the Italian produce sector can have when it is well organized and supported by institutions."
Assomela director Alessando Dalpiaz confirms that "together with the recent opening of Taiwan and Vietnam, these negotiations open up new perspectives for the export of apples to the eastern markets, which have a huge potential. It will take a few seasons to strengthen this potential, but Italian consortia have all it takes to grow and become more competitive."
Dr Simona Rubbi, International Relation manager at CSO Italy, states that "the teamwork and cooperation between operators and institutions has already enabled us to export some of our excellencies to faraway markets such as China, Mexico and South Korea. They have been essential to implement the three protocols (Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand) that will start off apple exports."
The first containers are expected to be shipped to Vietnam and Taiwan already in early 2020 and they should reach Thailand in the 2020/21 season.