Over the past few days, a delegation from Macfrut visited Venezuela to promote the fair. President Renzo Piraccini visited the wholesale market in Caracas as well as a few supermarkets.
Renzo Piraccini in Caracas (late January 2023)
"When I go on a mission, I always visit the wholesale market and a few supermarkets. I did so during the Venezuelan visit which included an institutional part with meetings with the authorities and stakeholders and a mission to some businesses."
Unloading of the trucks
The Caracas wholesale market, known as "Mercado de Coche", is located within the city with one part destined to producers and one to wholesalers. The facility is rather dated and hygiene is rather approximate.
Sale by producers
"In the section destined to producers, trucks from various parts of the Venezuelan republic unload the various products without possibility to store it. Buyers are retailers and street vendors, while supermarkets have their own refrigerated platforms."
"The most popular products are onions, potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes and leaf vegetables, local avocado varieties, mangoes and other tropical fruit."
The section destined to wholesalers instead includes cold storage units and there is a lot of imported produce. In January, there were many apples from Italy, France and Spain, as well as summer products from Chile and Peru. "I have seen many Italian apples, most of which re-exported by Spanish companies."
"The market is organized in areas with wholesale stands that also have cold storage units and deal with imported products as well as local ones from states that form part of the Venezuelan Republic."
The sign in the supermarket warns that no weapons are allowed in. Piraccini only holds tropical fruit.
"In both supermarkets visited, the quality of the fruits and vegetables is rather good, but prices are much higher than in Italy. Prices are in US Dollars and the exchange rate with the Venezuelan Bolívar is reported at the entrance."
"Apples from the US or Europe were sold at $3.00-4.59/kg, Packams pears from Brazil were sold at $4.85/kg, potatoes were 2.15/kg and mangoes 2.75/kg. These prices are definitely high, if we think that the salary of a public-sector employee is of around $300 a month. The produce is therefore destined to the part of a population with a higher income. Prices are much lower in markets, but the quality is lower as well."
Apples from Europe
Large quantities of potatoes
Gala apples at $4,59/kg