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OP Monte

Italy: Asian markets recognise the quality of our kiwis

Francesco Sorace (in the photo below), director of OP Monte, reported that "this year, production is significantly lower than last year. We are storing produce that will be sold at higher prices than 2015/16. Not all our markets are willing to accept the new quotations, though, due to the availabilty of Greek produce. However I think the situation will improve down the line." 

Bad pollination did not favour fruit shape, although grades are good. "Some areas responded better than others, as we managed to fill the gap where we could by carrying out artificial pollination." Talking about weather changes, the director reported that "chilling hours are increasingly fewer and plants have been producing less for the past two years. If these temperatures continue, we will have lower average yields per hectare. This can be compensated by increasing cultivated areas, but it is not the best solution for producers, as this would also mean higher costs."

In terms of prices, Sorace mentions competition from Greece. "We are selling what we can and hope for a change in quotations during the second part of the campaign. Now that the Russian market, which used to absorb the majority of the Greek produce, is no longer available, price wins over quality."

"The European market is no longer profitable and the alternative is the Asian market, though transit-times are 30-40 days. We are hopeful this choice will repay us for our efforts though. This year, we have started exporting to China and we had already started shipping to Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong."

Demand is also coming from Indonesia, but the list of approved laboratories provided by the Ministry has yet to arrive. "This is the only way to be able to ship the produce. At the moment, Italy is the only nation that hasn't moved yet. Indonesia is a small but rather lively market."

As regards the lack of cohesion on the Italian commercial front, Sorace says that "it is a pity, as our country is a leader in kiwi cultivation."

Francesco Sorace - director
OP Monte Soc. Coop.
c.da Fegotto, 15
89024 Polistena (RC)
Tel.: +39 (0)966 940632
Fax: +39 (0)966 940712
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