Fruit Logistica, one of the most important worldwide events for the fruit and vegetable sector, this year will see again the massive presence of producers from Trentino: Melinda and Trentina as well as Sant'Orsola cooperative specialised in small fruits, coordinated by APOT, the representative of Producers’ Organisations of Trentino. All of them will find hospitality in a 230 square metre stand set up by Trentino Marketing. Maurizio Rossini, Managing Director of Trentino Marketing, underlined that this presence is consolidated over time and offers the opportunity to meet the most important buyers from all over the world. This presence is even more important at the end of a very difficult production year, such as that of 2017, for the fruit and vegetable sector.
Michele Dallapiccola, Councillor for Agriculture, among other things reminded how apple-growing, particularly in Valle di Non and in Valsugana, experienced strong damages caused by late frosts, but also by hailstorms that unevenly hit Trentino. According to the appraisals of the insurance companies, the damages exceeded 150 million Euros for the insured producers. The councillor underlined how this shows the great propensity expressed by fruit growers to take out insurance.
Melinda, despite a lack of product due to late frosts and hailstorms, will be in the front row at Fruit Logistica in Berlin. This is the occasion to present at an international meeting the agreement reached with La Trentina, which since January 1st allows us to be operational with a new company, a commercial branch that will sell the full range of products of the two Producers’ Organisations, each one with its own brand. This was confirmed by Andrea Fedrizzi, marketing manager of Melinda. But the third project of hypogeal cells that the Producers’ Organisation has just completed, too, will be presented in Berlin. This is unique project in the world and on the one hand it allows saving soil for warehouses, because all the cells are built underground, on the other hand these cells are also much more environmentally sustainable, because their operation involves far lower absorption of electricity.
For his part, Michele Odorizzi, president of Melinda, said: ‘We are aware that we are facing a very particular situation: I can only say that we will have to show great ability to move in an uncertain market, managing the available resources in the best possible way. We are lucky to have a know-how gained over decades of experience on the field and for this reason we can look to the future with cautious confidence. On a commercial level we are facing the most difficult season since the birth of Melinda, due to the frosts and hailstorms, but thanks to careful planning we will be able to reach the goal set at the beginning of the season.
Rodolfo Brocchetti is president of La Trentina Producers’ Organisations, whose members this year are experiencing a decrease in production of apples, from over 700 thousand quintals to just over 350 thousand, of which over 25% has been damaged by freezing or hail and therefore goes to industry. Brocchetti said: ‘We will go in any case in Berlin, because it is a very important appointment, with all the operators who are interested in the fruit and vegetable sector all over the world. It is an opportunity to meet buyers, but also researchers and nurserymen, who will present the latest news on the varietal front. In addition, it is possible to verify the performance of the new equipment for processing both fruit and vegetables. In short, these two days are very much needed for our update, which is the basis for the preparation of future projects in tune with the news of the moment. It will also be an opportunity to present to the commercial world the new company, which immediately after the holidays will start on the basis of the agreement with Melinda. This agreement will bring benefits to both Producers’ Organisations. We expect not only economic, but also organisational and productive benefits. With this agreement we can also strengthen the role of the organic sector, in which the executives of both Producers’ Organisations believe.
The importance of Fruit Logistica
Alessandro Dalpiaz, Director of APOT, the Association of Producers’ Organisations of Trentino, underlined the importance of the compact presence of fruit and vegetable producers from Trentino in Berlin in a space shared with Trentino Marketing. For our Producers’ Associations, this presence has a precise meaning, for the interest they have towards export. Fruit Logistica is very important, because here all the major operators of the fruit and vegetable system of the world converge. We must not forget that contacts with potential buyers should be continually cultivated; that is why in Berlin we need to be there regardless of the unfortunate vintage and the lack of product. However, it is important to maintain these relationships, in a long-term vision.
Matteo Bortolini, director of Sant'Orsola cooperative for Small Fruits said that 2017 was not an easy year for the sector of small fruits and in particular cherries. Even in this case the responsibility must be attributed to the spring frosts, especially for cherries. As for the market concerning small fruits, Bortolini specified: ‘We are constantly expanding. The product is now required 12 months a year, so there is plenty of room to grow and innovate. The Village of Small Fruits which is rising on the outskirts of Pergine Valsugana, in a hamlet called Cirè, should also be seen from this perspective. It will include a new production plant, a large area dedicated to logistics, areas for research and experimentation, and a garden of small fruits that will welcome visitors. We will present ourselves in Berlin with definitely positive spirit, aware that in order to face the constant growth of demand, but also of competition, we have to increase our production. For us, this challenge has led to develop a business plan that provides for the deseasonalization of production, to offer all year round products coming from our members and with the construction of the village’.
The focus point
The fruit-growers in Trentino will be able to supply their loyal international customers with high quality product, obtained with increasingly sustainable production systems. This is made possible thanks to efficient research, innovation and technical assistance guaranteed by Mach Foundation. Michele Dallapiccola explained that great attention is also reserved for organic fruit growing, which is also supported by economic aid, concrete and more significant than it happened in the past.
What sense does participation in Fruit Logistica have in such a difficult vintage as this one?
It attests that Trentino is still present on the market despite this difficult year, thanks to its great networking skills with producers from Trentino as well as with players. This is very important. It is interesting to note that at present the fruit world of Trentino is committed with every effort to keep its customers even at the cost of some sacrifice, without thinking about speculating on prices.
What is the message for European consumers that Trentino wants to launch from Berlin?
First of all, a message on the high quality of production that is attested in the best way starting with the organic product, which is increasing in Trentino. All this without forgetting that thanks to the continental climate, latitude, mountain territories, but also to the cultivation methods developed in Trentino, all our fruit and vegetable production is to be considered excellent also from the point of view of safety as regards healthiness, too. Let's not forget that in Trentino we have been the first ones to introduce integrated production with the Agricultural Development Agency. This has meant that the level of skills of our fruit growers is very good.