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Interview with Domenico Sacchetto, President of Aspofrut Piemonte

"Italy: "We need to export apples and kiwis"

The excellent climate in 2016 meant that Piemonte Asprofrut obtained a good production in terms of both quantity and quality. 

"The season was good for all our crops, although we had to deal with the closing of a few important markets and with political problems, especially in North Africa," explains Domenico Sacchetto.

Domenico Sacchetto

Asprofrut has commercialised over 100 thousand tons of peaches and nectarines and around 20 thousand tons of Angeleno plums. In addition, the group harvested 40 thousand tons of kiwis and over 100 thousand tons of red apples so far.

"The plum campaign was the worst this year. Overproduction on a global level, combined with the closing of the Russian market and blocks in Canada and Brazil, made commercialisation difficult. Not to mention the continuous currency depreciation and the reduction of Egypt's purchasing power. Losing these markets means losing 500 million consumers, so we need other outlets."

"We need to insist that our government stipulates bilateral agreements with all countries in the world, especially for apples and kiwis. We need to export, we have the capabilities of exporting all over the world. Italy is a great producer, but the European market is already occupied by Greece and Poland. We have higher production costs than them, so we need to shift the produce where we can get the right remuneration. We need to find extra-EU markets before our competitors get there. But, to increase exports, our government needs to stipulate bilateral agreements, as there are countries that would be our clients but where we cannot sell our produce due to the lack of agreements."

Piedmont has become world-reliant
90% of Piedmont produce is destined overseas. "Only a few weeks ago, 250 containers were shipped in a single day." 

The Gala apple campaign is going well, except for problems with North Africa. Large quantities were shipped to Brazil, North America, India and Asia. This year, profits are good, also thanks to quantities - producers need to learn how to calculate earnings per hectare, as they need to find the balance between the quality to satisfy clients and the quantities necessary to cover fixed costs, regardless of yields.

"Gala apples are more popular than Red Delicious. Thanks to dynamic storage, they are now available until March. For what concerns kiwis, the campaign started very well, although the market is usually quiet during this period. In Piedmont, production was good, though producers are worried about vine decline. The campaign seems positive nonetheless."

Piemonte Asprofrut

Via Praetta 2
12030 Lagnasco (CN)
Tel.: +39 0175 282311
Fax: +39 0175 282320

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