Assomela took part in the mission organised by European Commissioner Phil Hogan as part of the "Tastes of Europe" campaign together with other 40 European companies.

The trip took place between 2nd and 9th November in Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.The main purpose was to assess the potential of these markets through seminars and meetings with business partners and promote free trade agreements.

"It was an important chance to try and overcome the 'phytosanitary barriers' and regulatory problems that impede access to Vietnam and Indonesia in particular," reported Alessandro Dalpiaz, director of Assomela and Apot, who took part in the mission with Thomas Oberhofer, President of the VI.P Val Venosta Consortium.

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Assomela met with Embassies and Italian institutions operating in Hanoi, Ho Chi Min, Singapore and Jakarta, strengthening relationships that may prove essential for future trades.

"We talked to the managers of the Agriculture Directorate of the European Commission and even met with Commissioner Phil Hogan. We have stressed the importance of the fruit and vegetable sector for the territory, occupation and production of healthy fruit," explained Dalpiaz.

"We were satisfied with the fact that the Commissioner and Italian and European institutions really seem to have understood our problems. We also picked up a few things we will have to implement at home," added Oberhofer.

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Giulia Montanaro from Assomela recently took part in a mission in China, where she met with the Chinese phytosanitary authorities. The access of Italian apples and pears to the Chinese market is currently under assessment.

Other Italian companies that took part were Alleanza delle Cooperative Italiane, guided by President Giorgio Mercuri, with Consorzi Parmareggio, Conserve Italia, Pasta Divella, MGM Mondo del Vino and Oranfrizer.

The experience of Oranfrizer
Salvo Laudani, member of the Freshfel Europe board and marketing manager for Oranfrizer, was also a delegate in Jakarta, Indonesia. He spoke at the introductory seminary and talked about how to do business in Indonesia as well as about the other topics of the mission, i.e. access to new markets, phytosanitary barrier reduction, free trade agreements, promoting European products, EU quality policy and new shared trade strategies.

Indonesian operators are looking to import high-quality products from the EU to meet the demands of the developing population. Consumption is also changing, as the middle class has increased by 57%. Blood oranges and Sicilian orange juice are particularly popular.

"To us, innovation means exporting to new markets and introducing Made in Italy citrus fruit and juices outside of Europe. Indonesia is one of our objectives, just like China," says Nello Alba, sole administrator of Oranfrizer.