In view of Macfrut (September 7-9, 2021), FreshPlaza has talked to Futura, a company specializing in the manufacturing of sorting machines for fruits and vegetables. Over the last period, the company has started focusing even more on the foreign market, so much so that it has opened a branch in Uzbekistan.
Manager Omar Papi explained that "all our technologies are made in Italy and are suitable to process all kinds of fruits and vegetables, so they perfectly meet the needs of central Asian companies. Our participation in Macfrut will help us widen our contacts."
"Our key words are high-quality, flexibility and tailor-made solutions that are easy and intuitive to operate and manage. All management software are available in multiple languages and provided with remote assistance, so our clients are never alone."
When asked about the attendance to the first real fair in a long time and about the prospects for the next few months, Papi replied that "after almost one year and a half without real fairs, we finally attended Agrotech Expo in Tashkent-Uzbekistan on June 18-21, 2021. This is the fourth consecutive time we have taken part in this fair, but things were 'different' this year. Considering the global situation, Italian citizens still have to quarantine when returning from some extra-EU countries, this is why we decided not to send anyone from Italy but rather to use our local staff from Futura Central Asia based in Tashkent. The fair went better than expected: we noticed clients and visitors in general are trying to return to 'normal' while respecting the health rules in place."
Uzbekistan is a growing country when it comes to the fresh produce sector. "It is very interesting for us and, in fact, we have been operating in this area for a while and have inaugurated our local branch there - Futura Central Asia - this year. Local productions are perfect for our technology, as Uzebkistan produces both summer fruits such as peaches and apricots as well as apples, pomegranates, grapes and vegetables suitable for hydroponic greenhouses such as tomatoes or peppers. Average clients do not have huge businesses, but they need companies such as Futura that can advise them on the most suitable technologies for their needs to enable them to export to the various distribution chains, not just those in Russia."
The Covid situation is rather under control in Uzbekistan: the rules in place are the same found in the rest of the world, i.e. social distancing, masks and hand sanitizers. "Of course there were slightly fewer visitors than 'normal', but I think it is understandable."
As for the next few months, Papi concluded by saying that: "We Italians tend to be optimistic, so we have decided to confirm all the fairs we used to attend pre-Covid. We will take part in Macfrut, then in Agroword Almaty in Kazakhstan on November 3-5 and Ygagro Krasnodar in Russia on November 23-26."