The “Freshness from Europe” Project, funded by the European Union, the Italian Government and CSO Italy in association with Apoconerpo, Alegra and Naturitalia, Apofruit, Assomela, Cico Mazzoni, Made in Blu, Oranfrizer, Origine Group, Ceradini Group and Conserve Italia, concludes its second year of international promotion of fresh and processed fruit and vegetable produce at the Summer Fancy Food in New York on 25/27 June.
It has been a busy year of international operations for CSO Italy, which, within the three-year Project with total funding of 3.6 million Euro, organised more than 210 promotion days in the various target countries, from China to the United Arab Emirates, North America and Japan.
There was a strong focus on China, with the project launched in Beijing in January with top Chinese authorities of the agriculture sector and Italian companies in attendance.
During the year, the project was presented at the world’s leading exhibitions, from Asia Fruit Logistica to PMA, Canadian PMA, Wop Dubai, Winter and Summer Fancy Food and Foodex in Japan.
Thousands of items of information materials were distributed and a total of more than 30 million useful contacts established during the various events and exhibitions.
The project site www.freshnessfromeurope.eu recorded more than 300,000 page visits.
As well as providing the opportunity to contact customers interested in Italian fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, the project activities enabled CSO Italy and its partner companies to present the “worldwide Italian fruit and vegetable ambassador” products.
Foremost amongst them is the kiwi, since Italy is the world’s biggest producer of this fruit, with exports continually growing to all the target countries, including mainly China.
Mention should also be made of citrus, especially oranges, which it will finally be possible to export to China from this year.
Demand for summer fruit and fresh-cut produce was high from the Emirates, although the year was a difficult one for margins on these products.
Pears were exported mainly to Canada, and work is under way to open up the Chinese market for this fruit and for apples.
Processed fruit and vegetables performed well in China, Canada and the USA.
A new year’s operations begin in July 2017, with a total budget of more than a million Euro for B2B exhibitions, advertising and promotion activities.
Given the growth in Italian exports in the fresh fruit and vegetable sector, with + 6% in the first quarter of 2017 and output worth 12.3 billion Euro, and the strong export growth for kiwi, with increases of +30% in 2016 in the project’s target countries, including China, the USA and Canada, prospects for the next year are looking very good.