The start of the 2014/15 kiwi export campaign carries a lot of expectations with it. "We are feeling the competition from Greece at this time due to the closure of the Russian market and now the country needs to reallocate 40% of its fruit," explains Marco Salvi (in the photo), chairman of Fruitimprese.

"In addition, their quotations are much lower than ours, but luckily they will only affect us during this first phase. We must hold our position and verify global consumption trends. Kiwis are in fact sold to over 100 countries, a crucial fact especially for the second part of the campaign, as the Chilean and Neozelandese campaigns ended early."

"The Asian markets, China in particular. are growing a lot, so we are optimistic. Italian produce always draws the attention of buyers, especially thanks to the fact that the Euro/Dollar exchange rate is favouring us."

As regards the Russian ban and Community measures, Slavi thinks that "the Communitys attempt to help the sector is not enough and some of the measures to eliminate the fruit in excess are not viable in Italy. The only thing we can do is harvest the produce and store it, hoping that the second part of the campaign will be better."

"It is clear that Putin is continuing with the same strategy and a solution is far away. In addition, as the Russian government is being more careful, those countries that helped us with triangular trade are also feeling the pressure," concludes Salvi.