Mela Val Venosta is characterized by the passion and professionalism of its producers, a microclimate particularly suitable for apple cultivation, respect for the environment and a harmonious relationship with nature.
"What we defined as Il Paradiso delle Mele ("Apple Heaven") is a focus on the values and topics that most represent us such as sustainability, but also on new projects such as those that aim at eliminating weeding products and at developing the organic range," explains Fabio Zanesco(in the photo below), sales director at VI.P Val Venosta.
"These are our guidelines for the next few years. Everything changes all the time, so it is crucial to have a direction to follow."
The average yield is 320 thousand tons of traditional and organic apples and the quantity of organic and club varieties will "progressively increase according to our strategy and to market trends. We have plans for club apples until 2025 and will decide on other cultivars in 2020."
"Of course the fluctuating trend that is characterizing organic products will calm down as the market finds its balance. At the moment, the market still favors demand but, with good quality and suitable plans, it is possible to work well. For the 2020/21 season, we will have to keep yields in consideration. Cultivated areas are increasing just like demand, but the rhythm varies."
The evolution of varieties: producing in the right areas
"The older varieties and orchards presenting the most quality problems will be the first to be replaced. Producing well and in the right area enables producers to make a profit even in difficult market situations."
Zanesco is rather optimistic when it comes to the current market, both for Italy and Spain. "Things are dynamic and demand is good, with prices slightly higher than in the past season and volumes under control. There is no surplus from Poland like there was last year. Some varieties have smaller grades due to the weather, so markets must be adapted. This in turn means the quotations of medium-large grades are much higher. The situation is similar in most of Europe."
"Quality is good and consumption is lively and not affected by the milder temperatures. In addition, there are not many alternative products at the moment."
Poland aims at replicating the quality of Italian apples in the future, will it manage to do so?
"There are areas, companies and POs that have invested in new orchards, warehouses and technical assistance and they do a good job. They are not just competitive when it comes to price, their produce is good. Though we need to see how much remuneration they need."
"I believe that money needs to be spent to achieve a high quality. Professionals are needed as well as orchards, plants, warehouses and munch more. I am worried about the general equilibrium of the market: when there is too much fruit available, we all suffer, so differentiation is key."
Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand
"Loads have already been shipped to Hong Kong and Singapore and others are ready to be shipped to Malaysia. As for Taiwan, we are waiting for phytosanitary inspectors to make a visit over the next few weeks. Vietnam instead requires a chill treatment of over 80 days, so we followed the protocol and stored apples in units according to the guidelines but will not be ready before January 2020. Then we will have to discuss things with potential importers once the units are opened."
"Thai inspectors visited Italy in late September and negotiations are ongoing. It is a very interesting market, as it is one of the few in Asia to have a different taste when it comes to apples, as consumers tend to prefer the most acidic varieties. I hope exports can start for the 2020/21 campaign."