Italy: Less kiwi quantities and less than satisfactory shapes

"Even though it is very hard to make an estimate, I think the Italian kiwi production is 20-25% lower than 2015. Nonetheless, harvesting is now starting in Lazio and southern productions may change the situation," explains Gualtiero Rivoira, manager fof Kiwi Uno.

Despite the good blossoming in June, which raised hope for quality, it is the shape of the fruit that is creating problems.

The problems are not only due to the weather and pre- and post-harvesting practices, as the choices made by some warehouses have affected the choices of final consumers.

"Interbranch agreements for the kiwi sector are definitely needed but, unfortunately, many did not follow them. Selling Hayward kiwis already in September is not a winning strategy. In addition, Haywards have been harvested and sold like an early Green Light, thus affecting other productions negatively."

The leading players still managed to take advantage by selling Hayward with a better quality. Zespri, for example, managed to do well while many Italian warehouses made mistakes, compromising the reputation of those who work well and leaving more room to the big players. "We will pay for these mistakes, nobody did anything to make sure rules would be respected."

European market
Nothing has changed yet since Brixit and the British market is a big importer. Spain is the leading exporter and Italy occupies the fourth place, so we are all anxious to know what will happen!

"Greece and Spain are definitely great producers, but have a different impact on the market. High-quality Spanish production is mainly destined to the domestic and Portuguese markets. Greece is instead an aggressive competitor, as it exports everywhere, from Europe to China."

Extra-EU market
Kiwi-Uno mainly exports to Australia, South America, North America, Argentina and Colombia, South Africa, Arab countries and China.

"We know the Chinese market really well - it is very important and is buying more and more produce from abroad. Of course it will have a domestic production, but it is not increasing, while exports towards China are."

"We are still waiting for phytosanitary agreements to export to Mexico and Japan, though they may be complicated markets. Japan, for example, is very demanding and only the best will be able to export there."

The varietal future of Kiwi Uno
The company, part of Gruppo Rivoira, continues to invest in the brand, quality and varietal experimentation. "We are part of the Italian Origine group and also of the Dorì varietal club."

"In order to be competitive, fully-checked produce is needed, that is why we like club varieties. We have registered red and golden kiwi varieties, which are currently under observation for Psa response and grades."

"We have learned how to live with bacteriosis, now we have to be careful about vine decline. It is still a rather limited phenomenon in Piedmont, but we should not relax."


Via Mattona, 174/C
12039 Verzuolo (CN) - Italy
Tel.: (+39) 0175 280700
Fax: (+39) 0175 280750

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