When it comes to the Hayward green kiwi, the scenario this year is quite simple. There is a shortage of produce. "While this is true for us in Italy, it is the same for our biggest competitor, Greece," explains Giuseppe Ribotta, founder of the Ribotta Group agricultural cooperative, with headquarters in Revello, in the province of Cuneo.
"The loss is significant, but we are seeing a consistency in size and good quality. We are selling at very high prices, especially to destinations where Greece has no access due to size or lack of protocol. The Greek kiwi is larger this year, and the country is struggling to serve markets that require smaller pieces. In this case, we are better positioned in those markets. In the other markets, they are winning - there is no point in denying it. In Brazil, which was an important market for our company, Greece could not export until last year because of a missing protocol. They got the green light this year after the missing protocol was signed. However, in terms of quality, Italian kiwis are always the best.”
"Compared to Germany, where prices are better, we are struggling on the domestic market. Overseas, we are very satisfied with trade relations with Asian countries, such as Taiwan, where there is great knowledge and demand for kiwis.”
Ribotta also pointed out that the decline in purchasing power is striking. "People are spending, but not much. And the higher the prices, the more the consumption varies. In terms of quantity, we are not selling as much as we should, but the sales are going well precisely because of the lack of product and the moderate demand."
The campaign started as soon as possible. "Chile finished ahead of schedule this year. Demand for the fruit skyrocketed and there was a huge gap. As soon as we reached the optimal Brix levels, we started pushing to try to fill in the gaps," Ribotta explains. "After that, the market began to stabilize.”
The Piedmont businessman highlighted a particularity of kiwi-producing countries. "This year, Iran is on the rise, with fruit of a high quality. At the Madrid fair, Indian buyers had already shifted their focus from Greece to Iran. This was also due to the higher prices of Greek kiwis."
Finally, Ribotta emphasized how virtuous Europe is when it comes to packaging. But how difficult it is to eliminate plastic. "We did a test with a cardboard box, but the product did not reach its destination correctly. That doesn't mean we're going to stop looking, even if we haven't found a way yet. The process of replacing plastic with alternative materials is complicated. It cannot happen overnight, especially for perishable products like fruits and vegetables.”
For more information:
Ribotta Group Soc. Coop. Agricola
Via Traversa Canonica, 1
12036 Revello (CN)
+39 0175 257550