FreshPlaza talked to Calogero Montana from the international Montana Groupe, with various branches in Italy and France, for an overview of the dynamics of the European fresh produce market. The entrepreneur reported on the most popular products at the Rungis wholesale market.
"The Italian table grape campaign, coming from Sicily in particular, has almost ended and the focus at the Rungis market is beginning to shift to seasonal products such as Spanish persimmons, Spanish and Egyptian pomegranates and clementines from Corsica and Portugal. Then there are also exotic fruits such as avocados and mangoes from the Iberian peninsula as well as bunching onions from Egypt."
But there is more, as Montana Groupe also commercializes vegetables from Italy (Puglia and Campania), though things are a bit slow at the moment due to the "high temperatures in central and northern Europe, which favor local productions and block imports."
"There is no big news from Sicily at the moment, but we are waiting for citrus fruit and mainly oranges to become available, although grades are smaller due to the prolonged summer period - just think that Sicilians are still going to the seaside! Our Sicilian branch is ending a very positive table grape campaign. Our two production sites in Ravanusa (AG) and Mazzarrone (CT) commercialized 6000 tons of table grapes, which have been exported all over Europe, and I think we will end the campaign with 7000 tons. As regards our Paris branch, 150 thousand tons of produce have been commercialized so far."
Thanks to its production partners in Italy, France, Morocco, Spain, Poland and Germany, Montana Groupe managed to exceed the overall volumes of 2019.
"We managed to provide continuous supplies and services to our international clients with increased attention to flow stability to meet the most diverse needs, due mainly to the current situation."
To adapt to new market needs, Montana set up a new "Les Producteurs Commercants" branch. The new brand, in an international context that sees the rise of home deliveries, will focus on online sales of Italian fruit, vegetables and processed products. Considerable space will be given to exotic products.
"There is also a new warehouse in France covering over 800 sq m that will provide new services to the international big retail chain and where we will install ripening units for avocados and mangoes. We will launch a specific tropical brand within the first trimester of 2021."
"The Covid19 emergency taught us to tackle new challenges and think in a different way. We do not know for how long we will have to live with the pandemic yet. We are doing our part and have been lucky not to have any health problems, meaning we could continue to work uninterrupted."
70 Rue de Montpellier
94650 - Rûngis France
Tel.: + 33 612974869
Fax: + 33 146872329