The closure of the horeca channel, in almost all of Europe, is still in place. The food delivery and takeaway markets are not enough to revive alone a sector that has been facing restrictive measures for about a year now, whose measures are prolonged at every last minute. "The situation is unpredictable, and a return to normality still seems very far away," explained Claudio D'Alba, CEO of the Italian company Plantis Group, which supplies the horeca and wholesale channels to foreign countries.
"The feedback from our customers is not encouraging, as in the meantime rents, unsold merchandise and various business costs weigh on the shoulders of these entrepreneurs. There is no shortage in orders, but we can't compare it to the pre-pandemic era. Among the products most sought after at this time, we find vegetables, such as brassicas, fennels and artichokes, while there is a significant decline on citrus fruits, no longer consumed as juices in bars or restaurants."
"Those companies that supply only the horeca sector, therefore, are suffering a strong backlash. Our salvation is the European large-scale retail trade, which not only guarantees us continuity, but also excellent sales volumes. In one year we have increased both our customer portfolio and turnover in this distribution channel, with an increase of about 10% in all the brands we supply. Without a doubt, having no Fruit Logistica in February did not help us further consolidate our business relations, but as soon as the pandemic situation will allow it, we will meet our customers in their own countries, refraining from attending the Fruit Logistica Special Edition scheduled for May, given the health and economic uncertainty that still persists".