"It has been a difficult season characterized by a drop in national production as green kiwifruit quantities merely reached 257,000 tons of saleable product. Italy has not reached its production potential in three years," reports Agrintesa director Cristian Moretti.
Greece keeps growing with 230,000 tons, also thanks to the fewer Italian quantities. Greek operators are gaining market shares and their produce sells at a lower price.
"Luckily the Greek produce is mainly available during the first part of the season and practically absent in the final part. Greek kiwifruit hinders the management of our fruit also due to the large quantities imported. The produce is often in competition with ours and is not always managed in a clear transparent manner."
The trend has been positive so far, but remained below the excellent market expectations justified by the lower quantities available.
"The situation has changed completely over the past few days, as domestic and foreign demand increased considerably: the Greek produce is almost finished and Italian kiwifruit stocks (less than 80,000 tons, i.e. -37% than last year) are in the hands of a smaller number of skilled operators."
"With such low stocks and an increasing demand, I expect the end of the season to be better than the first four months. As a specialized producer of green kiwifruit, Agrintesa will continue to supply its clients until early June through Alegra, Valfrutta and Brio."
Over the past few years, it has appeared that the kiwifruit segment needs better aggregation to limit competition and sort supplies. "We need a coordinated promotional policy based more on defense and product strategies and less on business opportunities for single operators."
Another aspect that must not be overlooked is quality defense. Consumers must be supplied 'good' produce that manages to reach the right ripening level before consumption.
"Our experience and considerable investments enable us to supply produce that meets the needs of consumers even after prolonged storage. This does not always occur when the fruit is harvested too early or if storage and post-harvest techniques hinder ripening keeping the fruit too hard."
"Green kiwis are an Italian product exported all over the world that is doing very well when it comes to both consumption and the markets, also thanks to golden varieties. Nonetheless, the Italian green kiwifruit system needs to be more organized and improve the planning of production, quality, management and market positioning."