The Apofruit revolution starts with varietal innovation

APOFRUIT ERNESTO FORNARI

CEO Ernesto Fornari presents the plans for the next 5 years.

With the record-breaking participation of over 500 members, customers, journalists and public sector representatives, the Apofruit Group CEO presented the company’s new five-year development plan for 2021 – 2025.

The fundamental guideline for the Cesena Cooperative Group’s growth plan is all-embracing varietal innovation.

Apofruit is providing its member base with exclusive access to a large number of varieties, to revolutionize the production offering nationwide, from Piedmont to Sicily.

Apples are the starting-point, with the Pink Lady®, Candine® and Joya® Club varieties.

Then comes the Zespri® yellow kiwifruit with over 1000 hectares already planted, moving on to the Divo® green variety and the HFR 18® red kiwifruit. Other winter fruit varieties include the Fred® pear and, for citrus, the new Lanelate® and Fukumoto® blonde oranges and the Tango® late clementine.

With regard to table grapes, the development of seedless varieties is continuing in partnership with four founder members.

In the summer fruit sector, Apofruit intends to invest in under-cover cherries, late apricots (harvested from the end of June onwards), the Ondine® white doughnut nectarine and the Maxim® oriental persimmon.

Amongst strawberries and other soft fruit, development focuses on the Sabrosa® and Rossetta® strawberries, the Fall Creek® blueberry and the Adelita® raspberry.

This is the biggest varietal transformation ever undertaken in Italy,” CEO Ernesto Fornari declared. “I believe that at present, innovation has to be driven by the upgrading, to the very highest standards, of our offering, to ensure that producers receive a fair return and to overcome the competition on the global markets. The multiple new products available to Apofruit and its member growers will give a major boost to the Group’s cultivated land, which will increase by at least 20% in 5 years. The added-value of our very high-end product assortment will bring major benefits to all members. Apofruit’s strategies,” Mr Fornari continued, “will focus more and more strongly on the three central pillars of our offering: brand policy, organic fruit and high quality integrated production, and the innovative varieties at our disposal will be located firmly within these three pillars”.

“I believe,” the CEO concluded, “that our project is of immense significance for our industry, capable of changing not only the character of our offering but also the image of Italian fruit on the global markets.”

These projects of ours require not only careful planning, which is already underway,” stated Apofruit Sales Manager Mirco Zanelli, “but also support for growers on the part of Apofruit, using forms of funding such as the public-sector CMO and RDP to develop both varietal innovation and investments in crop protection and quality upgrading”.

On the market,” Mr Zanelli continued, “we will be pursuing an aggressive sales policy aware of consumers’ demands in terms of eco-sustainability, also with regard to packaging. At a time when the European agri-food sector is mobilising to offer real responses to the new From Farm to Fork guidelines, Apofruit combines past experience with a future vision to give its members and the Italian industry as a whole the solutions it needs to grow.”

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