It's not only the lockdown that has led to a collapse of pineapple sales, and above all, export problems. Recently, this exotic fruit has also been hit by bad weather (hurricanes) in Central America. This was confirmed by Luca Bernardini, owner of the 2M Exotic Fruits sold under the brand Anana'. "We were back to importing via air, but since mid-August we have practically stopped. Luckily the situation is resolving and within a few days we will be fully operational again."
Unfortunately, heavy rains in the Dominican Republic, the state from which the company imports, affected the quality of the fruit. "We only import the best pineapples and when it rains too much, they absorb too much water and the quality suffers. The air transport guarantees the highest quality and if the fruits are not the best, we cannot import them."
Pineapple import follows two routes, maritime, for the most resistant products, and air freight for ready-to-eat fruits. "Another problem that arose with the pandemic - added Bernardini - is the lack of direct flights to Italy. The flight numbers to Europe decreased dramatically in conjunction with the collapse of tourism and, to date, the airplanes make stopovers in Spain or other countries, but not in Italy. And this is a main problem for us as importers. Before the Covid-19, we had two daily planes over Madrid that delivered pineapples to Europe from the Dominican Republic, plus 3 or 4 weekly flights over Malpensa."