This happened thanks to exporters, who pushed consumption without devaluing the produce. Kiwi demand has been increasing for the past 15 years and, while at the beginning of the Millennium 750 thousand tons of fruit were handled every year, we have now reached 1.2 million tons, i.e. a 70% increase.
This is what emerged from the CSO – Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli data.
Global kiwi import trend (volume and value) between 2000 and 2013. Click here to enlarge. (Source: CSO Servizi processing of FAO data)
Demand has increased everywhere in the world, especially in the Far East. In China, which is the leading producer, imports increased a lot and are now on the same level as Japan, a great importer that absorbs most of the New Zealand production.
Imported volumes increased all over the world - North America (USA and Canada), Central and Southern America (Brazil, Argentina and Mexico), Middle East (Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) and Africa (Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Morocco).
Kiwi import trend in the five continents. Click here to enlarge. (Source: CSO Servizi processing of FAO data)
Of course Italy cannot remain passive when faced with of all this, especially considering we are talking about the leading producer (behind China) who exports 70% of its production.
Despite the fact that its main market remains the European Union, the sector has managed to diversify its destinations - more produce is being shipped overseas, and especially to North America (USA), Far East (China, Taiwan and India), Africa (Egypt) and Middle East (Emirates and Saudi Arabia).
Not all markets are open to Italian kiwis though, mainly because of phitosanitary barriers. The CSO has been working for over 10 years to support and coordinate producers and the institutions involved in the process to find new markets (Ministry of Agricultural Policy, Regional Phitosanitary Services, Embassies).