“As far as the market prices go, in the last two weeks we recorded a sharp rise in Sicily and a noteworthy one everywhere for zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, cherry and Piccadilly tomatoes, and other vegetables “ declared the Joka Fruit srl representatives to FreshPlaza. “As far as we know, even in Spain the situation is similar. During the same time last year, the market was not so animated. We don’t know if this is due to a decrease in the Spanish offerings caused by the bad weather recorded in Almeria, or if it is because the consumption has increased thanks to the arrival of lower temperatures."

The Joka Fruit Srl, with its legal head office in Milan and operational headquarters in Vittoria (RG), Sicily, is a company that was created exclusively to supply the large-scale distribution (GDO ). Among the others, the company has the IFS certification.

"At the moment we are mainly marketing fruit and vegetables from Sicily. In particular, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, Piccadilly, plum tomatoes (datterino), grapes (100 pallets in the last week),” reported the representatives. A few lots of goods from Puglia arrived this week, and limited quantities of pepper, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes arrived from Spain. Broadly, we supply what the client requests.

The main production areas of Sicilian products are Niscemi for artichokes, Vittoria, Gela and Pachino for cherry tomatoes, Victoria and Santa Croce for eggplant and zucchini. In general, we source peppers, zucchini and tomatoes from Eastern Sicily, while artichokes, melons, grapes, peaches and nectarines come from Western Sicily.

With a partnership contract as third parties, Joka Fruit has a warehouse where the goods arrive and are processed and packed almost exclusively under their own brand. "We allocate the great majority of our products to supermarkets throughout the Peninsula; lately we exported small volumes to Eastern Europe, carefully considering the possibility of open new channels there.”

As for the packaging, we offer a range that goes from resealable baskets of 250 gr., 300 gr., 500 gr. and 1 kg to cartons sized 30x40, 30x50 , 40x60 cm in bulk (mostly zucchini, eggplant, peppers). For transportation, Joka Fruit relies on third parties.

Sicilian fruit and vegetables are affected by competition coming from Morocco during the winter months and from The Netherlands during the summer months. "We believe that competition in Spain is becoming relative: since we also import Spanish product, we realized that there are weeks when you can buy at low price level and others when it’s not convenient at all. However, the competition is extremely stiff from Morocco: in the last week, the prices of imported cherry tomatoes (from 1.40 to 1.45 €/kg) matched the prices requested by the producers here in Sicily.”

Joka Fruit Srl

Email: info.jokafruitsrl@tiscali.it