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Unido Itpo Italy

Iraqi buyers and operators will also be in attendance at the fair

At the 2024 edition of Macfrut (Rimini, 8-10 May 2024), Unido Itpo Italy - the Italian Office for the Promotion of Technology and Investment of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization - will be receiving a delegation of Iraqi entrepreneurs and participating in the dedicated Unido Itpo Italy stand at the exhibition.

The Iraqi delegation is made up of buyers from the agritech and agribusiness sectors, particularly tomatoes, dates, beans, hydroponics and greenhouses, who are interested in meeting their Italian counterparts to explore new opportunities for investment, technological know-how and international cooperation.

The project is part of the work carried out by Unido for Iraq, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Maeci).

At the heart of Macfrut is the fruit and vegetable supply chain, a strategic sector of the Italian agri-food industry. According to Ismea, whose data were presented at a press conference by Fabio Del Bravo, the production of fruit and vegetables in 2023 is estimated at about 24 million tons, on an area of about 1.3 million hectares planted with fruit and vegetables, involving 300 thousand companies.

The turnover exceeds €16 billion, and the size of the agri-industry is also significant, exceeding €10 billion. In 2023, the revenue from exports of fresh and canned fruits and vegetables was €11.6 billion, of which €5.7 from the fresh produce sector. The trade balance of fresh fruits and vegetables wrapped up with a positive €550 million, although it is lower compared to 2022 (€620 million). The weight of the entire fruit and vegetable supply chain (from field to table) is about three times production, with a value of about €50 billion.

In terms of consumption, the same data provided by Ismea show a decrease in the volume of purchases. The two-year period from 2020 to 2021, which was marked by the pandemic, had restored some hope for an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables, but the gradual return to the out-of-home lifestyle led to a setback in purchases in 2023. In particular, purchases of citrus fruits (-7%), potatoes (-4%) and ready-to-eat salads (-4%) declined. Fruit sales (-0.1%) are holding up, and vegetable sales are up 1%.

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