With 235 exhibitors, 34 participating countries and a 30% increase in the total exhibition area, WOP was an excellent opportunity to present the Freshness from Europe project.
The programme, financed by the EU, the Italian state and partners of CSO ITALY, has a budget of €5.3 million spread over three years and aims at promoting the trade and consumption of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables in the Arab Emirates, US, Canada, China and Japan.
The companies who attended were Alegra, Apofruit, Oranfrizer, Origine Group and MAAP.
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Exports of Italian fruit and vegetables to the Emirates have increased constantly over the past 5 years and the trend looks positive also for the first months of 2016.
According to the Eurostat data processed by CSO ITALY, 19,771 tons of fruit were commercialised between January and August 2016, i.e. +13% with respect to 2015.
The best performing products are kiwis, melons and cherries. Vegetable exports are increasing, but quantities remain low, though the potential is very interesting.
"The UAE market is rather interesting for Italy. It would be essential to diminish the logistics costs of air transport at an institutional level, especially considering we are far less competitive than Holland on this front," explains Alegra Marketing Director Stefano Soli.
"Origine Group also feels this opportunity is an occasion to introduce our products on this market, especially for what concerns kiwis," adds Sales Director Reen Nordin.
The Freshness from Europe project obtained excellent feedback in the Arab Emirates also for what concerns store promotion and communication activities.
"People are increasingly interested in our products. Customer retention is good and the range of products demanded is increasing. The market is very receptive and flexible towards the project's promotional activities," reports Apofruit's Foreign Sales Manager Renzo Balestri.