The 2019/20 Italian kiwifruit season started with a lower production yield, but yet promising. Afterwards, Greece influenced quality and lowered production costs, and, more recently, the Covid-19 emergency has greatly lowered expectations. Prices remained unchanged without achieving the desired increases.
"We kicked off with 30% less green Hayward kiwi and an optimal quality. This should have resulted in a very positive response from the market but we hadn't reckoned with a Greek kiwi of excellent quality and very competitive until mid-February, that caused us quite a few difficulties”, said Giuseppe Ribotta, founder in 2014 of the agricultural cooperative company Ribotta Group, which is based in Revello (CN), Piedmont, but has members from north to south Italy.
Frua and Giuseppe Ribotta, at the last edition of Fruit Logistica
"We commercialize different types of fruit such as blueberries, peaches and nectarines, plums, apples, pears and kiwis with green pulp. We export 90% of our production, and markets vary according to the fruit. For peaches and nectarines, the main market is Europe. Plums, apples and kiwis can go even further. Australia, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada and North Africa are just a few examples."
"With regard to kiwis," explained Ribotta, "we gained market share only where Greece had protocol problems. Since this year the Greek product featured a mainly medium-large size, we were able to better satisfy the demand for small-sized fruits."
To date, although Greece is now out of the picture, we must face the consequences of the spread of the Coronavirus. "If it is true that consumption has increased, it is also true that it is not a constant trend. We are alternating phases of intense work, linked to the commercial flows of the large-scale retail trade, and less active periods. In addition, we are experiencing serious problems with transportation, which costs more, and with the reconfiguration of business activities in compliance with the rules imposed by the decrees."
Finally, on the potential development of other kiwi-producing countries in the future, Ribotta underlined that "Iranian products are one of those that will take hold in the future. At the moment it is moving quietly, but I think it has a good chance of emerging and positioning itself in some of our markets."
Ribotta Group Soc. Coop. Agricola
Via Traversa Canonica, 1
12036 Revello (CN)
Phone.: +39 0175 257550